A gorg, gorg picture of the Great Lakes from outer space

Few things are as awe-inspiring as photographs of Earth from outer space. Today, astronaut Scott Kelly shared one from the International Space Station that took our breath away. The nighttime photo of the Great Lakes area, with the lakes themselves outlined by light from cities and towns nearby, is nothing short of incredible.

Kelly is currently on a year-long mission in the space station, and if his 342-day mission goes as planned it will be the longest amount of time any U.S. astronaut has spent in space. Time described the premise of Kelly’s mission writing, “Kelly will stay twice as long as any U.S. astronaut has ever stayed on the space station, giving scientists a chance to study how the human body responds to long-duration space flights. On Earth, scientists will perform parallel studies on Scott Kelly’s identical twin brother, retired astronaut Mark Kelly.” It’s not every day you have twin astronauts who can help us learn more about our universe. Scott Kelly is on day 233 in space right now and has been sharing tons of gorgeous shots via Twitter and Instagram throughout his trip. His latest shot is of this here United States and he is totally right when he calls the Great Lakes “unmistakable” in his photo — even from so far away. Lake Michigan and Lake Erie are clearly offset by Chicago and Detroit, and other pinpoints of light show just the faintest outline of Lake Huron. And with the edge of the planet shining blue in the background, the picture is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks, Scott Kelly, for the reminder of how beautiful our little blue dot is! P.S. Just one more of our favorite pics from Scott Kelly.

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(Image via Twitter)