The angle of this photograph (off-nadir), shot by an astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS), provides a unique perspective on Budapest at night.
Located in central Hungary, Budapest is home to approximately 20 percent of the country’s population. The core of the city is divided by the Danube River, visible here as the dark void between the central lights of the downtown areas. The Danube is Europe’s second-longest river, and it flows through the city from the north and continues until it empties into the Black Sea. The two sides of Budapest are connected by several bridges visible near the city center.
The different concentrations of lights on the two sides of the river are indicative of the population and structure of the modern city. Budapest is a unification of three different cities: Buda, Pest, and Obuda (a historical city). Buda, on the west bank of the river, is more residential and compact because of the constraints of steeper terrain. Pest, on the east bank, has a flatter topography leading to a more sprawling, radial structure stretching outward from the center.
Astronaut photograph ISS062-E-102615 was acquired on March 18, 2020, with a Nikon D5 digital camera using a 200 millimeter lens and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by a member of the Expedition 62 crew. The image has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by Laura Phoebus, Jacobs, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.