The nighttime lights of Russia's capitol city Moscow glow like a giant luminescent spider web in a new photo taken by astronauts in space.
The photo of Moscow from space reveals a bustling metropolis arranged around a central hub, with radiating spoke-like streets reaching outward.
The spokes are linked at intervals by relatively circular highways that wrap around the entire city. [More views of Earth from space.]
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi took the stunning Moscow portrait while flying over Russia at night. The space station was flying about 17,500 mph and nearly 220 miles above Moscow at the time, likely making the city a tricky target.
Noguchi posted it Friday to his Twitter page, where he has been chronicling his six-month mission to the space station under the name Astro_Soichi.
"Golden rings of Moscow, Russia," Noguchi wrote. "Happy Victory Day weekend!"
Victory Day in Russia is May 9 ? which also happens to be Mother's Day in the United States. It is a holiday that commemorates the end of World War II when Germany surrendered. American troops will take part in this year's Victory Day parade in Moscow for the first time in history, according to the New York Times.
The Russian holiday will likely see a multinational welcome aboard the International Space Station.
"The teams here in Houston and in Moscow did wish the crew a happy Victory Day during the early morning chat," NASA spokesperson Josh Byerly told SPACE.com from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Today is partly an off duty day, so while there are no official celebration activities on the crew?s timeline, I?m sure they are celebrating amongst themselves."
There are three Russian cosmonauts aboard the space station ? Expedition 23 commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko. They form just half of the station's crew, which includes Noguchi (representing Japan) and American astronauts Timothy "T.J." Creamer and Tracy Caldwell Dyson.