Science & Technology

Stunning Astronaut Photo From the Space Station Captures Tokyo’s Lights at Night

December 23, 2020

Strings of sunshine emanate from the Imperial Palace in the metropolis’s middle and observe the expressway system outward.

Months earlier than the world turned its eye towards Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics, an astronaut on the Worldwide Space Station captured this picture of the Japanese megacity. The {photograph} affords a particular, high-resolution view of the metropolis’s construction by way of its nighttime mild.

Many cities are oriented round a middle. In most trendy cities, it is a bright downtown. In Tokyo, it’s the Imperial Palace. Strings of sunshine emanate from the palace and observe Tokyo’s main expressway system outward. The brightest factors point out clusters of huge buildings in a number of downtown areas. Main sports activities venues—like the Olympic Stadium and horse racing tracks—additionally depart refined marks on the Tokyo nightscape.

In a metropolis so effectively illuminated, the darkish areas stand out as a lot as the shiny. As Tokyo’s inhabitants pushes previous 40 million, the metropolis is reaching geographic limits on outward development. Naturally bounded by Tokyo Bay to the east and mountains to the west, darker areas farther from the metropolis middle are sometimes designated parks. The park system of Tokyo is in depth, overlaying 36 p.c of the whole land space in the prefecture.

The opposite damaging area in the picture is Tokyo Bay and the main rivers (the Sumida, Tama, and Edo) that run by means of the metropolis and into the bay. The one interruption to the darkness of the bay is the small factors of sunshine brought on by ships touring to and from Tokyo’s busy docks. The sharp, angular nature of the docks contrasts with the winding of the rivers and highlights their human-made origin.

Astronaut {photograph} ISS064-E-15098 was acquired on December 23, 2020, with a Nikon D5 digital digital camera utilizing a 400 millimeter focal size and is supplied by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Distant Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Middle. The picture was taken by a member of the Expedition 64 crew. The picture has been cropped and enhanced to enhance distinction, and lens artifacts have been eliminated. The Worldwide Space Station Program helps the laboratory as a part of the ISS Nationwide Lab to assist astronauts take photos of Earth that can be of the biggest worth to scientists and the public, and to make these pictures freely accessible on the Web. Extra pictures taken by astronauts and cosmonauts will be considered at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Pictures of Earth. Caption by Alex Stoken, Jacobs, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC.

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