Earth's Cities at Night: Photos From Space

San Francisco Region by Night


This photograph taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station highlights northern California from the city of San Francisco and San Francisco Bay along the coast to the cities of Stockton, Modesto, and the Sierra Nevada to the east. Image acquired Sept. 25, 2013.

ISS View of Sochi During Olympics


One of the Expedition 38 crew members aboard the International Space Station downlinked this vertical 600mm night view of Sochi, Russia, which clearly shows the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics while they are just a few days under way. Fisht Stadium where the Opening Ceremonies were held on Feb. 7 is easily recognizable as the bright circular structure. This image was released Feb. 10, 2014.

Space Station's Panoramic View of Europe at Night


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.

American Midwest Cities From Space


This labeled photo shows several cities in the American Midwest at night as seen by an astronaut on the International Space Station on Sept. 29, 2011. The artificial light from human settlements appears with a characteristic yellow tinge. The green light of the aurora borealis also shines brightly in this view—even seeming to reflect off Earth's surface in Canada. A small white patch of light is almost certainly lightning from a storm on the East coast (image top right). Part of the ISS appears across the top of the image. The cities of Chicago is at top center, with the cities of Omaha, Des Moines, St. Louis, Minneapolis and St. Paul also visible.

Shutterbug Astronauts Smash Space Photography Record


The Houston metropolitan area at night is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member on the International Space Station in early 2010, helping set a new record for most photos taken during a single space mission.

Earth at Night: Astronaut Shares Dazzling Photos From Space Station

NASA [Full Story]

This photo taken by astronauts on the International Space Station shows the dazzling 'boot' of Italy lit up by city nights at night.

City of Angels

NASA via Ron Garan/Astro_Ron

The U.S. city of Los Angeles shines bright in this nighttime photo taken by astronaut Ron Garan from the International Space Station on April 17, 2011 during the Expedition 27 mission. At the time it was 4:33 a.m. local time in Los Angeles as the space station soared 220 miles overhead.


NASA via Ron Garan/Astro_Ron

Dawn breaks over California in the United States April 17, 2011 in this photo by NASA astronaut Ron Garan from the International Space Station. The lights of Los Angeles appear in the foreground while San Francisco appears in the back near the horizon.

San Francisco Sunrise

NASA via Ron Garan/Astro_Ron

NASA astronaut Ron Garan snapped this photo of San Francisco, Calif., on April 17, 2011 while flying aboard the International Space Station during the Expedition 27 mission. On the horizon, the bright blue glow – called airglow – shines just before sunrise over the Golden State. A bright planet is also visible.


NASA via Ron Garan/Astro_Ron

This space sunrise photo shows Taiwan and the Philippines as they appeared to NASA astronaut Ron Garan on April 19, 2011, from a window on the International Space Station during the Expedition 27 flight.

Sliver of Earth From Space

ASSOULINE, available for purchase at ASSOULINE Boutiques worldwide and through

The elusive sliver of light from a shadowed Earth is one of space tourist Guy Laliberte's most prized photos among those he took from the International Space Station in 2009.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.