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Earth From Space: Amazing Astronaut Photos

Canadarm2 Above Earth

Rick Mastracchio (Twitter)

"Aurora like thunderstorms on the horizon with a bit of sunrise and Venus(?) rising up through it," wrote Rick Mastracchio Feb. 27 on Twitter. In the foreground is Canadarm2, a robotic arm used for space station assembly and repairs. [Read full story.]

Shiny Golden Boot

Koichi Wakata (Twitter)

The lights of Italy shine at night in this Feb. 15 picture from Koichi Wakata, an astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. [Read full story.]

San Francisco's Harbor From Space

Rick Mastracchio (Twitter)

The Golden Gate Bridge is visible in this picture of San Francisco that NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio shared from the International Space Station Feb. 23. [Read full story.]

Shimmering 'Wall Of Light'

Koichi Wakata (Twitter)

"Another photo of aurora at south of Australia. A huge wall of light," wrote Koichi Wakata, an astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Feb. 23. [Read full story.]

Cargo Ship Pulling Away From Station

Rick Mastracchio (Twitter)

Through a porthole in the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio caught this view of Orbital Sciences Corp.'s Cygnus cargo spacecraft departing Feb. 18, over the Middle East. [Read full story.]

Moon Drifts Out Of View

Koichi Wakata (Twitter)

Earth's moon sets above the atmosphere of our planet. Picture taken by Koichi Wakata, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and posted Feb. 21. [Read full story.]

Jagged Mountaintops

Rick Mastracchio (Twitter)

The Himalayas rise up just north of Nepal, India in this Feb. 11 photo from NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, aboard the International Space Station. [Read full story.]

Eye Of The Storm

Koichi Wakata (Twitter)

"We flew over a big tropical cyclone 'Guito' near Madagascar this morning, wrote Koichi Wakata, an astronaut from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Feb. 21. [Read full story.]

Come Sail Away

Rick Mastracchio (Twitter)

Boats are visible in this picture of a Maldive island taken by Rick Mastracchio from the International Space Station and posted Feb. 10. [Read full story.]

America's Heartland

Mike Hopkins (Twitter)

"Heartland of America. Has a certain beauty to it," wrote NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins Feb. 26. Hopkins and fellow Expedition 38 crew members Sergey Ryazanskiy and Oleg Kotov safely returned to Earth March 11. [Read full story.]

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Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is a contributing writer for who is one of the few Canadian journalists to report regularly on space exploration. She is the author or co-author of several books on space exploration. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. from the University of North Dakota in Space Studies, and an M.Sc. from the same department. She also holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University in Canada, where she began her space-writing career in 2004. Besides writing, Elizabeth teaches communications at the university and community college level, and for government training schools. To see her latest projects, follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @howellspace.