Earth from above: The most spectacular photos ever taken from the International Space Station
Later this year, the International Space Station will celebrate its 20th anniversary. As well as being one of the most important scientific endeavors in decades, the ISS has also proven to be a fantastic platform for photography, peering down at the mountains, deserts, cities and seas. New Atlas rounds up some of the best images snapped from humanity's eye in the sky.
The International Space Station measures 357 ft (109 m) long, and it gathers power from the Sun through a solar array spanning 240 ft (73 m). It orbits the Earth every 90 minutes at a speed of about 5 miles (8 km) per second, at an altitude of between 330 and 435 km (205 and 270 mi).
From that unmatched vantage point, the ISS is the perfect place for astronauts to capture the Earth in stunning detail. The natural beauty of landmarks like the Grand Canyon are unmissable, and at night the biggest cities sparkle like the stars above. The planet is also happy to showcase its more chaotic side too, with volcanic eruptions, wildfires, hurricanes and solar eclipses all clearly visible.
Browse through our pick of the best photos from the ISS to admire the Earth from this unique perspective.