What Are Astronauts Taking Photos Of?

When astronauts are given amazing cameras on board the ISS, they point them towards home.

Almost North America
Nathan Bergey

Astronauts take a lot of photos of Earth, for personal use and for specific experiments on board the International Space Station. NASA saves them on a server, and now a data cruncher has mapped them all.

Nathan Bergey went through the entire archive, which contains about 1.1 million images, and cataloged them by location and mission. "Coastlines, islands and cities seem to be popular targets. So much so that it's possible to make out basic continents," he writes.

These photos were taken in every mission since the station's founding in 2000, but there was a major ramp-up around Expedition 30, which started in November 2011. Incidentally, astronaut Don Pettit took almost half of the archive's images during his time on Expedition 30/31, including some awesome time-lapse sequences of the station's orbit.

Check out Bergey's full project on his website.