It’s glorious to look up at the sky. And as footage from space shows, it is just as glorious to look down at Earth, particularly from the International Space Station (ISS). European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet shared a couple of photos taken from the ISS on Tuesday on Twitter that gave people an idea of what a sandstorm looks like from space. These photos were clicked by Pesquet while he was aboard the ISS and they show a sand storm blanket over a region in the Middle East spotted earlier this week.
Pesquet tweeted the two photos and mentioned how he was in awe of the view and added that he had never seen a sandstorm from space. He also pointed out that given its size from where he was looking at it, the storm must have been quite massive. “I wonder how many tonnes of sand just flew over dozens or hundreds of kilometres. Mother nature has some strength,” Pesquet tweeted.
Twitter reacted to Pesquet’s tweet and commented on how beautifully breathtaking it all was. One Twitter user wondered if advancements in space equipment and photography might be able to help make better and more accurate weather predictions. “That surely is some force of nature. It is quite incredible how our world does experience some extraordinary natural phenomena. Looking into the future of Space weather will give more of an insight into these various natural events,” the user wrote.
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French astronaut Pesquet is stationed at ISS and is a part of Mission Alpha. He is also the first European astronaut to leave Earth on the SpaceX Crew Dragon that was launched from Florida on April 23 this year. Pesquet was one of the crew of four that included National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts Megan MacArthur and Shane Kimbrough, who were also with him on ISS during his previous Proxima mission. This crew also included Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide.
Over their time on the ISS on this stint, Pesquet and Kimbrough have performed three spacewalks in the span of ten days to install two new solar arrays that will generate more electricity at the station. According to reports, their second spacewalk lasted 6 hours and 28 minutes.
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