Space is one of the last things for humanity to conquer as far as the physical world around us in concerned. Our understanding is limited by our technology. The problem is, we are certainly not anywhere close to long distance space travel as far as technology goes. So for now, we are content to send astronauts into Earth’s orbit, and have them run tests, and observe things from a place most people can only dream of visiting. One good thing to come out of these trips into space is the photographs these astronauts are able to capture. Scott Kelly has spent the past 520 days aboard the International Space Station (ISS), and during that time he took some incredible pictures. They are truly stunning and will really make you view the universe in whole new way. If you’re at work, be prepared to get nothing done for a minute, because these are going to keep you glued to the screen.
1. Scott (right) and his cosmonaut colleague Mikhail Kornienko celebrate their 300th consecutive day in space together on January 21, 2016.
2. This is a photograph of a polar vortex that was taken on February 14, 2016. It looks cold just from the photo!
3. An amazing sunset that was captured on the 127th day aboard the ISS on August 1, 2015.
4. How would it be having a glass bottom on your spaceship! That’s how Scott was able to capture this amazing view of the Bahamas on December 26, 2015.
5. Can you imagine having these Auroras lighting up the sky right above your nighttime capsule. This image was capture on day 154.
6. Moscow, Russia glows on Earth’s surface as the picture is framed by a giant solar panel attached to the space station. The Aurora illuminates even more of the Earth for the astronauts to enjoy. The picture was taken on October 6, 2015.
7. Where on Earth could this amazing blend of colors be from? This is actually a picture of Egypt taken on December 24, 2015 during an Earth observation pass.
8. This amazing array of colors is brought to you by the coast of Spain. Imagine waking up and this being the first thing you see? It would be pretty hard to have a bad day after that.
9. No, this isn’t some abstract water-color painting. This is actually a photo of the Bahamas taken on July 19, 2015.
10. This may look like an incredibly complex circuit board, but it’s actually New York City at night-time. What an incredible picture. You’re looking at over 8 million people.
11. Scott was able to fit three celestial object into one picture. The moon, Venus and Jupiter are all visible in this photo taken on July 19, 2015.
12. Scott decided to have a little fun with zero gravity after a fresh fruit and vegetables drop off aboard the ISS.
13. Scott captured this intense image of Japan at night while teaching another crew member the process of working the camera on July 25, 2015.
14. Ever wanted to see a meteor shower from space? Well you’re looking at one. This photo shows the Perseid meteor shower as seen from the ISS.
15. I never thought a moonrise could be so beautiful, but this picture taken on July 17, 2015 definitely proves me wrong.
16. We’ve already seen a sunset from the ISS, this is one of the last sunrises Scott saw during his 520 days in space. It was also his favorite that he saw.
17. Seeing the moon from outside the confines of Earth’s atmosphere would be such an incredible experience.
18. This picture depicts the trail that was left by the Russian Soyuz spacecraft after it plunged through the atmosphere in a fiery ball.
19. Hurricanes always look more intimidating when seen from above. This is Hurricane Patricia on October 23, 2015.
20. This picture shows Houston and the Gulf Coast at night.
21. Seeing an Aurora from space would be one of the ultimate experience you could ever have.
22. This is a shot of Earth during an observation pass. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft sits in the center of the image, docked to the space station.
23. It doesn’t get much better than a sunrise over New Zealand from space on Christmas morning.
24. The colors that are created from these auroras are truly amazing.
25. Another picture from the Bahamas, and it too looks like a painting. I had no idea open ocean would look like this from above.
26. In this picture taken over Southeast Asia, you can clearly see the curvature of the Earth. I wonder what that extremely bright light is. Lighting maybe?
27. Scott actually got to see the Super Bowl this year! Only he was way to high to actually watch it, and when you’re traveling 17,500 MPH, it doesn’t last long either.
28. This is one massive storm system that was covering the entire East coast!
29. This thin blue line signals the beginning of a sunrise as the ISS made a night-time earth observation.
30. This shot was taken over Central American during a night pass by.
31. It’s amazing that this thing layer of atmosphere is all that keeps us from being destroyed by the Sun.
32. The ISS passed through an aurora and Scott snapped this picture. It literally looks like the Earth is about to explode.
33. It’s amazing, almost the entire country of Italy is lit up!
34. Even from all the way up there, our oceans still look incredibly massive.
35. If you’ve ever wondered what Shanghai would look like at night from space, well here is your answer.
36. Being able to see the Milky Way from Earth is one of my favorite things. Being able to see it from space would be a whole other experience.
37. Italy seems to be especially photogenic.
38. This is definitely one of my favorite pictures. This shows a frozen lake high up in the Himalayas.
39. A blizzard rocking the East coast. It’s amazing seeing it from above.
40. A photo of the holy city of Mecca. Millions of Muslims make the pilgrimage here every year, which gives them the title of Haji.
41. This would seriously frighten me. Going straight through an aurora in a spaceship does not sound like my idea of fun.
42. Storms seemed to be lining the Western part of the United States when this pictures was taken. The lighting strikes dotting the pictures are amazing.
43. Athens, Greece seems absolutely massive from above!
44. This is a close-up view of Zinnia grown as part of a vegetable experiment floating in front of the Cupola window.
45. The crew observed flag day on June 14, 2015 in front of the 360 degree view windows.
These pictures are absolutely stunning. I’ve always been fascinated by space. Whenever I see pictures like this, it always makes me even more curious about what it still out there for use to discover. Going up into space has always been a dream of mine. While it is probably not going to happen at this point, I can live vicariously through people like Scott and the amazing pictures he captured during his time aboard the ISS.