Puget Sound partly reflects the sunlight in this detailed photograph taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station. The patterns of boat wakes are prominent in this reflection zone. The difference between the boat wakes in this image may be related to the different speeds of the boats. The patterns also differ because of the specific light reflection angles at the time the photo was taken.
The land shown in the photo is Seattle, Washington. The darkest areas with rectangular grids are suburbs richly covered with trees. The broadly gray zones of the city center are brighter where buildings are lower (as in Harbor Island), and darker where the high-rise buildings of downtown cast shadows. Interstate Highway 5 bisects downtown.
Astronaut photograph ISS040-E-124198 was acquired on September 6, 2014, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using an 800 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, and Michael Trenchard, Barrios Technology, at NASA-JSC.