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Brussels and Antwerp at Night (NASA, International Space Station, 05/04/14) | by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center
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Brussels and Antwerp at Night (NASA, International Space Station, 05/04/14)

An astronaut on the International Space Station took this night photograph of two of Belgium’s major metropolitan areas. Antwerp is a major European port located on the Scheldt River, which appears as a black line angling through the lights. The city has access to the Atlantic Ocean, and its extensive dock facilities are even more brightly lit than the city center.


Brussels is the capital and largest city in Belgium, and also the de facto headquarters of the European Union. Brilliant points of light are the city center and the Brussels National Airport. Major highways appear as straighter, brighter lines radiating from the two cities.


About a minute before this photo was taken, an astronaut captured a wider contextual view of Belgium, Netherlands, and northwest Germany. Taken with a shorter (wider-angle) lens, the photo gives a panoramic view as the ISS crossed into Europe from the Atlantic Ocean.


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About Crew Earth Observations:


In Crew Earth Observations (CEO), crewmembers on the International Space Station (ISS) photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located 200 miles above the surface. Photographs record how the planet is changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth and reservoir construction, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions. A major emphasis of CEO is to monitor disaster response events in support of the International Disaster Charter (IDC). CEO imagery provides researchers on Earth with key data to understand the planet from the perspective of the ISS. Crewmembers have been photographing Earth from space since the early Mercury missions beginning in 1961. The continuous images taken from the ISS ensure this record remains unbroken.


Image credit: NASA


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Taken on April 5, 2014