An astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS) took this panorama looking aft of the spacecraft (backwards along the orbital path) as the Sun was setting over the North Sea. Seen from the ISS, the Sun’s reflection point moves quickly across the landscape, momentarily lighting up water bodies.
In this fleeting view from June 15, 2014, the coast of southern Norway is outlined near the horizon. The brightest reflection highlights the narrow sea passage known as the Skagerrak—revealing the thin tip of Denmark. Numerous small lakes in southern Sweden appear at image center, and scattered clouds cast complex shadows on the southern Baltic Sea. The sweeping curves of the sand spit on the Polish coast and the long barrier islands on the Russian coast appear in the foreground, at the edge of the Sun’s reflection disc. A more detailed image of these barrier islands is available here.
Astronaut photograph ISS040-E-12110 was acquired on June 15, 2014, with a Nikon D3S digital camera using an 80 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 the Expedition 40 crew. It 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 M. Justin Wilkinson, Jacobs at NASA-JSC.