View from Above, International Space Station, 2015

Every ocean on earth has small islands or atolls that are deep blue, turquoise, or even aquamarine in color. But nowhere on the planet even comes close to the intense colors of the Bahamas and Caribbean. It is simply spectacular, from the Florida Keys, to the Bahamas, and down past Cuba, there is a seemingly never-ending stream of colors, shades of blue and green that I had never seen before.

What is also spectacular about this area is that you can actually see sand dunes under the water. Dunes in general are just sand particles being moved in rhythmic patterns by a fluid- in most cases, air, and we can see them in the great deserts of Earth. But in the Bahamas, they are clearly visible under the sea, from space! This is a beautiful corner of our planet, one that was even visible from the moon by some Apollo astronauts, and unlike any other place on earth in terms of intensity and variety of these beautiful, blue and green hues.

Location: International Space Station, Space
Photograph Date: 2015
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200
Available Sizes: 100cm to 150cm

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About the Photographer

Terry Virts

Terry served in the US Air Force as a fighter pilot, test pilot, NASA astronaut, and graduate of the US Air Force Academy as well as Harvard Business School. On February 8, 2010 he made his first spaceflight as pilot of the Space Shuttle Endeavor during mission STS-130. His next launch was onboard the Russian Soyuz TMA-15M on November 23, 2014 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan to the ISS. In March of the following year, Terry assumed command of the ISS as Commander of Expedition 43. Terry spent 200 days in space on his Expedition 42/43 flight, which is the fourth longest continuous NASA space mission.

He is one of only 4 astronauts ever to have piloted a space shuttle, flown a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, performed space walks and commanded the ISS. Terry has a unique perspective about the earth having taken more photos from space than any other astronaut and being one of the stars of the IMAX film, A Beautiful Planet, shooting much of the stunning footage himself. Terry’s photography is featured in his National Geographic book, View From Above.

He is currently traveling the world, inspiring audiences with his stories from space, as well as his unique insights into life on earth, including our environment, global wealth, intercultural leadership, crisis and risk management, innovation, strategy and vision, and decision making.

He is involved in several projects, including filming a new TV show, writing, and teaching leadership seminars.

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