City Lights at Night: Astronaut's Amazing View from Space
With hardware from the Earth-orbiting International Space Station appearing in the near foreground, a night time European panorama reveals city lights from Belgium and the Netherlands at bottom center. The picture was taken by members of the space station's Expedition 30 crew on Jan. 22, 2012.
Credit: NASA

A remarkable nighttime panorama taken from the International Space Station captured a dazzling cobweb of city lights as the orbiting complex flew roughly 240 miles (386 kilometers) overhead.

The captivating picture of Earth from space was taken on Jan. 22. The image shows the space station in the foreground, with the lights of Belgium and the Netherlands shining at the bottom center. The British Isles are slightly blocked by the station's solar array panels on the left, according to NASA officials.

The North Sea appears at the left center, and Scandinavia is at the right center, beneath the end of the space station's robotic arm.

The station is currently home to a truly international crew: two American astronauts, three Russian cosmonauts and a Dutch astronaut.

Commander Dan Burbank and Don Pettit of NASA, Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko, and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers make up the station's Expedition 30 crew.

In addition to amazing photos, the space station's crew has also recorded some stunning videos of Earth from space, including this one of comet Lovejoy over the planet at night:

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