Taken from the ISS

So what is it?

It could be a manipulated picture taken in a forest, perhaps. Or part of a fractal, or a coloured ice crystal. Like Esher’s art it facinates me – even though I know what it is. It seems like it might have been taken under a high powered microscope … blood vessels, maybe? It looks surreal, yet is all too real.

But no. It’s none of the above. It was taken by ‘Magisstra‘ (Paolo Nespoli) on the International Space Station and it is the Somalian Desert.

How insignificant we truly are.

Taken from the International Space Station

This photograph, taken by Paolo Nespoli from the International Space Station, shows the launch of an Ariane 5 rocket on top of which is the 20 tonne Johannes Kepler, an ATV (automated transfer vehicle) which will be the only supply means for the ISS once NASA stops flying the shuttle.

We may dream, we may conceive and write and make fantastic, mind-boggling science fiction; but we’re still stuck, here on earth. And we can’t afford to stuff up our only planet – after all, we have nowhere else to live. Do we?

Launch of the Johannes Kepler

Paolo Nespoli’s Flickr stream