Earth Matters

My 15 Favorite Commander Hadfield Photos

May 14th, 2013 by Adam Voiland

“Who’d have thought that five months away from the planet would make you feel closer to people,” mused Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield a few days before his return trip back to Earth. Along with two crew members, the commander of International Space Station Expedition 35 landed safely in Kazakhstan on May 13, 2013, via a Russian Soyuz space capsule.

What a tour it has been. After 2,336 orbits, 62 million miles traveled, Hadfield returns as a rock star of sorts. His recording of a cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” quickly went viral this week (6 million+ views and counting). But it’s not just his skill with a guitar that has attracted attention. More than anything else, it has been Hadfield’s mastery of the cameraand Twitterthat has catapulted him to fame.

Hadfield isn’t the first astronaut to tweet from space. Mike Massimino did that in 2009. But the abundance and quality of Hadfield’s tweets has set a new standard. He spent several hours per day taking photographs from the Cupola, and with the help of his son Evan (back on Earth) posted the best of them to his feed.

The photos they shared didn’t seem to be raw. One of the Hadfields must have been tweaking the brightness and contrast of the images to make them pop. When paired with snappy, heartfelt captions, the photos proved irresistible. Hadfield’s online followers skyrocketed from about 20,000 when he went into space to more than 900,000 when he returned.  Many of his images were retweeted thousands of times.

To celebrate the safe return of Expedition 35, I’ve posted fifteen of my favorites below. Thank you, Commander Hadfield, for the remarkable tour.  And welcome home.

BKKlQW6CYAAmILu.jpg_largeTo some this may look like a sunset. But it’s a new dawn.

BBaVLu3CAAAkpnE.jpg_largeAustralia. Jackson Pollock would have been even further inspired by seeing the Outback from orbit.

BGPUPVlCcAEzhbh.jpg_large  The Richat Structure. A giant gazing eye upon the Earth.

BFHNvgbCcAAEyOF.jpg_largeWhen I look at thunderstorms from above, I see faces. What do you see in the clouds?

BHm4u6oCEAILfJ5.jpg_largeI have no idea what this Brazilian outcrop looks like on the ground, but from orbit, it’s a brain.

BJxccf-CQAA-p36.jpg_largeSame land, different politics. The US – Mexican border, seen from space.

BKFmjafCIAAWQYz.jpg_largeSpaceships glowing blue in the dawn as we leave Florida headed across the Atlantic.

BFWax4ICYAEgMEt.jpg_largeCrazed patchwork of farms in Central Asia, a monochromatic 3D hallucination in the snow.

BHMUeeiCEAAJHox.jpg_largeMorning jet traffic over San Francisco.

BJnof82CYAEoaDC.jpg_largeOur Sun is immensely, unfathomably powerful.

BHvoL-4CUAEVSeH.jpg_largeWarm brown textures of the Patagonian Andes.

Seven billion hearts, but I can see only one. #ValentineFromSpace

BJIsY4ACUAAfrtq.jpg_largeDubai, the Palm Island like a trilobite in the night.

BJVHCWCCIAAGwAD.jpg_largeShadow play of cloud and mountain at sunset.

BJN2y7kCEAE3KV5.jpg_largeThe Moon ushering in the dawn over the Southeastern United States.

16 Responses to “My 15 Favorite Commander Hadfield Photos”

  1. rufus says:

    thankyou for that, so many wonderful wonderful images, we have been so lucky to see such wondeful sights, unforgetable! What a talented Chap Chris is, what a huge inspiration he is to so many of us!

  2. Louise says:

    <3 !
    THANK you!

  3. Kathy says:

    Beautiful. Please post more!

  4. Randy says:

    These are fantastic!!!!
    Could I have permission to use them in the classroom with students?
    Thank you for all you efforts and for the incredible pictures you have taken. Wish I had been there. But at least we have this. So incredible.

  5. Menashe says:

    A real inspiration from the universe by an excellent messenger Commander Hadfield. Thanks

  6. Betszeb says:

    Fantastyczne widoki, rewelacja. Można się zakochać we wszechświecie. Dziękuje za udostępnienie tych zdjęć.Serdecznie pozdrawiam! B.C.

  7. Claire Bourke says:

    Absolutely wonderful photos ,thank you so much for showing them to us and so glad you are safely back on Earth. Greetings from Kilkenny Ireland

  8. mary white says: every section of our worlds land, may there thrive a fertile field of peace and joy, rich with the leaves and fruits of happiness, filled with the many sweet scents of freedom……….HHKarmapa17

  9. Michelle Flack says:

    Amazing – a wonderful escape while sitting at my desk doing the drudgery of the day! Thank you

  10. Mike Stevens says:

    Brilliant pictures, my thanks to you all at NASA for allowing us to see this wonderful planet that we live on from space. Keep up the good work.

  11. carlos vargas says:

    Gracias comandante, por compartir con los que estamos debajo.
    Un gran abrazo.

  12. flaire glaze says:

    thank you for sharing those amazing pictures. iloveit =)

  13. fernando biondi says:

    I’d wish each and everyone living in this tiny shell understand the significance of OUR prints on it
    Thanks for the trip

  14. Ralph Morgan Lewis says:

    How fortunate we on Earth are to have had such a talented, insightful astronaut aboard the ISS who shared his experience in space with all of us. Thank you, Commander Chris Hadfield.

  15. hira shah says:

    OMG its amazing thx 4 sharing.

  16. Victor Leon says:

    Muchas gracias por dejarnos ver nuestra casa desde afuera. Espectaculares!!!