Celebrate the halfway point of Scott Kelly’s 342-day journey in orbit with these knockout images.

On Tuesday, astronaut Scott Kelly hit the midpoint in his 342-day journey aboard the International Space Station. Along with Russia’s Mikhail Kornienko, he’s testing what a prolonged journey in space does to the body (spoilers: all your leg blood floats to your head and your poop becomes shooting stars).

During his weightless days and nights, Kelly has snapped some truly gnarly images of sprawling cities, dreamlike landscapes, and auroras flashing peacock colors over the planet’s glowing dome. To celebrate the astronaut’s slog—standard trips on the space station last four to six months—NASA has posted an album of photos that Kelly has tweeted over the year. The full thing is worth a look, but here’s a selection of the more-intense shots:

Auroras shimmer over the planet in mid-August. Wrote Kelly: “The sun is very active today, apparently.” (NASA/Scott Kelly)
Man-made formations color the land in Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône, France. (NASA/Scott Kelly)
The Milky Way looking all milky in August. (NASA/Scott Kelly)
The idyllic cays of the Bahamas in July. (NASA/Scott Kelly)
The night lights of Japan shine in July below the space station and Soyuz and Progress spacecrafts. (NASA/Scott Kelly)
Purple-and-green auroras make Earth look consumed with alien fire in August. (NASA/Scott Kelly)
Cities, lightning storms, and possible natural-gas flares blaze in the western U.S. in August. (NASA/Scott Kelly)
The sprawling labyrinth of Athens, Greece, in July. Wrote a space fan: “I say you’ve really touched our bankrupt hearts.” (NASA/Scott Kelly)
The moon and the atmosphere’s airglow shine over Ecuador in September. (NASA/Scott Kelly)
NASA

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A man and a woman shop at a modern kiosk by a beach in a vintage photo.
    Design

    Why Everyday Architecture Deserves Respect

    The places where we enact our daily lives are not grand design statements, yet they have an underrated charm and even nobility.

  2. an aerial photo of urban traffic at night
    Transportation

    The Surprisingly High-Stakes Fight Over a Traffic-Taming ‘Digital Twin’

    Why are some mobility experts spooked by this plan to develop a data standard that would allow cities to build a real-time traffic control system?

  3. A photo of anti-gentrification graffiti in Washington, D.C.
    Equity

    The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification

    A new study claims the effects of neighborhood change on original lower-income residents are largely positive, despite fears of spiking rents and displacement.

  4. A chef prepares food at a restaurant in Beijing, China.
    Life

    What Restaurant Reviews Reveal About Cities

    Where official census data is sparse, MIT researchers find that restaurant review websites can offer similar demographic and economic information.

  5. The legs of a crash-test dummy.
    Transportation

    A Clue to the Reason for Women’s Pervasive Car-Safety Problem

    Crash-test dummies are typically models of an average man. Women are 73 percent more likely to be injured in a car accident. These things are probably connected.

×