Cloud Shadows: Stunning Pics of Earth Clouds From Space

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Earth is an incredibly beautiful place, which can sometimes be hard to remember when you live here. But European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst is reminded of Terra’s breathtaking sights every day from his incredible vantage point aboard the ISS.

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Gerst snaps pictures of the world from 205 miles up. He documents everything from choppy waters to serene land masses to hurricanes and other storms.

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One of his favorite sights to shoot is cloud shadows. Seen from space, dense clouds can cast shadows on the planet’s surface or on other layers of clouds that can reach thousands of miles long.

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The astronaut also uses his unique vantage point incredible images like these of the Northern Lights. His entire Flickr photostream is full of beautiful Earth photos taken from the serenity of space.

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It’s sometimes difficult to realize┬áthat these stunning images are from right here on our own planet, not from a far-flung destination in space. If you ever forget just how magical and breathtaking Earth can be, Gerst’s photos from space can quickly help you remember.

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See more in Earth & Nature or under Science. September, 2014.