A photo of London from space

Posted by Colin

OK so not strictly something to do in London, but simply breathtaking nonetheless. As a planetarium presenter at the Royal Observatory Greenwich I show thousands of people this picture every year and it never ceases to captivate both me and them.

Taken by European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers, whilst orbiting the Earth at 17,500 mph on the International Space Station, it shows our capital as an almost living organism.

The unmissable M25 motorway provides the skin around the outside with London’s major thoroughfares acting as arteries, transporting vital supplies around to keep the city ticking.

You can’t fail to spot Heathrow Airport on the far left, a place to feed the metropolitan animal with new visitors. From the East, the brightness of the lights intensifies as you snake around the ‘Eastenders’ river bend to reach the gleaming heart of London.

Whilst as an astronomer the lights reduce my view of the stars, it’s sometimes hard to argue with them when they show off my home so spectacularly to the rest of the universe.

[Click on image for a larger version]

Related Posts:

St. Paul’s and Tower Bridge seen through a telescope from the Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Shard, The Moon and Jupiter


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