Mount Everest, Seen from Space!

One under-appreciated space asset is the photography skills of the Russian cosmonauts on board the International Space Station. They are extremely skillful photographers who don’t get the same recognition as their astronaut counterparts in their Earth observation skills. In particular, they have taken some stunning high-oblique shots of objects close to the horizon, with almost an 3-D effect.

One example is our lead image of Mt. Everest, which was taken by cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev (@OlegMKS), who was a flight engineer ISS Expedition 39/40, and Expedition 55/56. Below, is another view of Earth’s highest mountain, taken by Sergey Rryazanskiy (@sergeyISS), who was on ISS Expeditions 37/38 and 52/53.

Oblique view of Mt. Everest, as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: Sergey Rryazanskiy/ Roscosmos.

These images were brought to our attention by Chhabi R. Pokhrel (@crpokhrel) on Twitter, who lists himself as a mountaineering enthusiast and space geek.

To see more imagery from cosmonauts, Roscomos has this page of limited images from various cosmonauts. They do, however, usually give credit to each cosmonaut who took the photo.

NASA, on the other hand, has basically EVERY image taken by astronauts available at the “Gateway to Astronaut Photography website” but they don’t necessarily give credit to the astronaut photographer. Different strokes for different space agencies.

On Nov. 26, 2003, astronauts on board the International Space Station took advantage of their unique vantage point to photograph the Himalayas, looking south from over the Tibetan Plateau. The perspective is illustrated by the summits of Makalu [left (8,462 meters; 27,765 feet)] and Everest [right (8,850 meters; 29,035 feet)] – at the heights typically flown by commercial aircraft. Credit: NASA

But, no matter the photographer or the country of origin, I feel fortunate to be able to see these beautiful images, basically every day via Twitter or websites, of our precious planet Earth. Take a few minutes to peruse the links above to check out these wonderful images.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004. She is the author of a new book on the Apollo program, "Eight Years to the Moon," which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible. Her first book, "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond.

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