Circling the globe on the International Space Station every 90 minutes at 28,000 kilometres per hour at an altitude of 400 kilometres has given US astronaut Scott Kelly an amazing vantage point for his year in space to produce a series of Earth art.
Kelly, with his lens, and often some creative colour-enhancement, has captured hundreds of stunning photos of our planet. The landscapes and colours conjure images of abstract paintings. Some of Earth’s most inhospitable places look like some of the most beautiful.
His work has captured the imagination of many who followed his year-long journey via social media.
As Kelly wrote on his blog: “The view across Earth has given me some incredible scenes. But I have most enjoyed photographing Earth with a different eye. Through a zoom lens and with the vantage point of the space station and the ever-interesting canvas of Earth.”
Photography is part of the astronaut training program so they can record photographic scientific observations for missions. They learn to use cameras ranging from a regular Nikon DSLR (used to capture Kelly’s Earth art images) all the way up to IMAX cameras.
“But photography in space is also an enjoyable hobby. It helps to add some semblance of life balance on the scale of work and life. When you live at work for a year, this balance is very important,” Kelly wrote.
Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Korniyenko will leave the space station they have called home for 340 days, and head back to Earth on Tuesday 1 March at 11.25pm EST (Wednesday 3.25pm AEDT).
Robyn Adderly is the Art Director of COSMOS.
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