The nighttime lights of Russia's capitol city Moscow glowlike a giant luminescent spider web in a new photo taken by astronauts inspace.
The photo of Moscow from space reveals a bustling metropolisarranged around a central hub, with radiating spoke-like streets reachingoutward.
The spokes are linked at intervals by relatively circularhighways that wrap around the entire city. [More views of Earth from space.]
Japanese astronaut SoichiNoguchi took the stunning Moscow portrait while flying over Russia atnight. 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 chroniclinghis 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'sDay in the United States. It is a holiday that commemorates the end ofWorld War II when Germany surrendered. American troops will take part in thisyear's Victory Day parade in Moscow for the first time in history, according tothe New York Times.
The Russian holiday will likely see a multinational welcomeaboard the International Space Station.
"The teams here in Houston and in Moscow did wish thecrew a happy Victory Day during the early morning chat," NASA spokespersonJosh Byerly told SPACE.com from the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "Today is partly an off duty day, so whilethere are no official celebration activities on the crew?s timeline, I?m surethey are celebrating amongst themselves."
There are three Russian cosmonauts aboard the space station? Expedition 23 commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineers Alexander Skvortsovand Mikhail Kornienko. They form just half of the station's crew, whichincludes Noguchi (representing Japan) and American astronauts Timothy "T.J."Creamer and Tracy Caldwell Dyson.