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Pale Blue Dot, Beautiful Planet: The Best Astronaut Images of Earth from 2017

A new video from NASA features the very best photographs of Earth taken by astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) in 2017.

Among the featured images are snapshots of a brilliant green-and-purple aurora borealis display over Canada; the red, vein-like tributaries of the Betsiboka Estuary in Madagascar; and a glittering web of lights created by large cities like London and Naples, Italy.

The winning images were selected by scientists in the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. You can see the photos in our full gallery here.

Observations of Earth from space go beyond their aesthetic value. In 2017, cameras on the ISS, along with various Earth-observing satellites, helped monitor a slew of major stormsthat pummeled through the Atlantic Ocean and aidedin recovery effortsfor regions affected by those storms. Images from Earth-observing satellites also helped emergency organizationsmonitor wildfires in California.

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