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Gaze Down At These Country-Sized Clouds Photographed From The ISS

Geophysicist Alexander Gerst has been capturing the thousands-mile-long shadows that trail behind billows from his unique vantage in space.
September 2, 2014, 6:30pm

"Periphery clouds of Typhoon Halong in the West Pacific," via

Humans typically look up at the clouds as they drift along, but Alexander Gerst's recent photographs offer the unique opportunity to flip that experience on its head. The geophysicist is one of six astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station, and as This Is Colossal points out, he has been taking gorgeous photos of clouds from above, capturing their disorienting shadows that span thousands of miles (and even full countries) from his vantage point.


Gerst has been continuously updating his Flickr and Facebook with photos of the Earth from the space station, including stunning shots of oil fields and hurricanes. Our favorite might be his image of clouds beneath Aleutian volcanoes, which yield patterns not unlike the wake a boat leaves. His crew will be arriving back on the planet next week, so enjoy his photo updates while they last.

Desert dunes in Chad, via

"Aleutian volcanoes beneath clouds generate similar wave patterns to ships on water—over 1000s of km," via



"North Germany and Denmark with a backbone of clouds," via

For more of Gerst's amazing photos, visit his Facebook and Flickr pages.

h/t This Is Colossal


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