NASA astronaut takes selfie with ‘earthshine’
(June, 22, 2015) — Earthlings can take selfies with sticks, voice commands, and beauty-enhancing apps, but NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is above it all — quite literally.
On Saturday, Kelly tweeted two new self-portraits to his 186K followers while aboard the International Space Station (ISS), orbiting 220 miles above the Earth.
And the best part? He gets to choose his ‘filters’ — with light reflected from Earth. The photos showed his face and selfie-taking outstretched arms illuminated, first, by a North African desert, and, captured just a few moments later, by the Mediterranean Sea.
The space station travels at five mile per seconds, and is the third-brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon, outshining Venus. You can even spot it at night if you look up at the right time.
Kelly is on a one-year mission to study the impacts of prolonged weightlessness — or the absence of gravity — on the human body.
The New Jersey native is joined by Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka on board, and his twin brother, former astronaut Mark Kelly, on Earth.
Scientists will gather and compare data about the Kelly brothers to identify physical and mental changes in the body caused by long-term spaceflight. The information collected from these studies will be used for future missions to Mars, which would take at least 2.5 years.
Last week, NASA released a four-minute Ultra High-Definition (UHD) video shot at the International Space Station.
The first in a series of 4K UHD videos, it shows “breathtaking views of planet Earth” and offers a glimpse into life on the orbiting laboratory — from performing experiments in microgravity to eating a weightless sandwich.