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?

22 thoughts on “Lumière Extraordinaire: Paris From Space

  1. This is an amazing photo .. and I love your call-outs so we could recognize the major sights. Incredible!! (I love how the parks are dark) Thanks so much for sharing this remarkable piece … so weird to think it’s taken from his own space NIKON!

  2. Finally, a map that will help me navigate Paris’ warren-like streets! :) Stunningly beautiful, Corey. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. I checked all the pictures and shared on Facebook. If only, if only … Killing the space program is the one big thing I object to that Obama has done. I’d hoped to see more before I die.

  4. Coolio, Corey and I like the nicely added detail of telling us what those specks are amongst the sea of lights! I can’t believe how Paris is one gigantic light show! Amazing that you can see it from the so far above the Earth.

  5. Hi Corey,
    Thanks for your visit to my blog.
    Fascinating! What incredible technology that we have now to be able to do that type of photography. It is always refreshing to change one’s view on familiar places and things.

    Happy Easter to you!

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