Lumière Extraordinaire: Paris From Space

This photo was taken by Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers who is currently orbiting above us in the International Space Station. Among his many stunning shots (taken simply with his personal Nikon camera), is one of Paris at night:


It’s nice to think I was down there adding to the mix my little computer screen and desk lamp , but I won’t try to pinpoint exactly which fraction of a millimeter is mine. I did  take the time though to zoom in & mark some major landmarks that are discernible from space, just for fun (a guy’s gotta do something to wake up during his morning tea). Keep in mind this picture is basically upside down compared to our terrestrial maps:


Remarkable how the Champs Élysées can make a straight line of light even from outer space. Makes me think of Paris in the 1820’s and it being the first city to adopt large-scale gas lighting for its street lamps, solidifying that City of Light nickname. I wonder what those Parisians would think of this picture…although they might not even get that far, being distracted by a more burning question: what the devil is a photograph?


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