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This Jaw-Dropping Photo Shows London As Seen From The International Space Station

By Alex Landon

International Space Station

Ever wondered what London looks like from 400km up?

As the first British astronaut to visit the International Space Station, Tim Peake has already made his fair share of history. But what you might not know is that he’s also responsible for one of the most amazing images of London we’ve ever seen, as during his stay on the ISS, Peake snapped a photo of London from 400km above the Earth, which truly is spectacular. [Featured image: @astro_timpeake]

The picture, which was taken back in 2016, has recently bubbled up back into our consciousness on Reddit, where user chriscambridge shared the image to wide acclaim. Peake’s photo is taken from an angle that any photographer would kill to get, and is honestly one of the most incredible views of London we’ve yet seen. Despite the photo being snapped at midnight, the lights of the city are glowing bright, in what was a far simpler time: no President Trump, no Brexit, no coronavirus – even the Night Tube was still months away from launching!

Gaze upon the photo and you can see the illuminated roads converging on the bright heart of the image, where the lights of the West End, Mayfair, and City of London shine brightest. Darkened spots show where Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, and Walthamstow Wetlands are, and the inky black ribbon of the Thames winds its way through the heart of the city, criss-crossed by the odd bridge. As chriscambridge pointed out, this was an impressive shot, relying on a clear night and excellent timing, given that the ISS flies at a speed of 7.66 kilometres per second.

Judging by a quick scroll through his Instagram feed, it’s one of numerous shots Peake snapped whilst in orbit. There’s a beautiful shot of the whole UK on a cloudless day, and another which captures the nation at night, with the Northern Lights spotted in the background.

I’m also a big fan of his shot of a snowy Calgary, which has nothing to do with London but is sumptuously a e s t h e t i c as hell.

So, yeah, we’re pretty late to the party, but – Tim Peake, greatest influencer of our generation?

It’s not quite 400km up, but you can see incredible views of London from these panoramic viewpoints!


Also published on Medium.