Space: No, these are not watercolour paintings but beautiful pictures of Earth from space
Luca Parmitano from Italy is one of the six astronauts currently orbiting the Earth onboard the International Space Station (ISS). Positioned roughly 250 miles (402km) above our Blue Planet, the astronaut spends his free time snapping breathtaking vistas of the Earth. Here, the astronauts took photos of the azure waters and snow-white sands of the Bahamas. The European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut shared his photos online for his 595,400 Twitter followers to enjoy.
On Wednesday, August 21, the astronaut snapped an image of the Bahamas, which he likened to the works of painter Hugo Pratt.
Tweeting his message in English and Italian, Mr Parmitano said: “Bahamas: the colours of a Corto Maltese adventure, the blue of a Hugo Pratt watercolour. #MissionBeyond”
A few days earlier, on August 18, the astronauts shared more photographs of the intricate sandy features in the Atlantic archipelago.
He tweeted: “When nature paints in watercolours: I’ve dreamt such colours so many times in the past six years… but even dreams pale, compared to the beauty of reality. #MissionBeyond”
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Before that, the astronaut also snapped some pictures of swirling cloud formations, or as he called them, “aerial geometries”.
The astronaut tweeted from space: “Aerial geometries attract my gaze and surprise me – sky, water and clouds in a game of ever-changing perfection. #MissionBeyond”
Mr Parmitano arrived on the ISS on July 20 this year alongside NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan and Russian Soyuz commander Alexander Skvortsov.
The three astronauts joined the crewmates of ISS Expedition 60, while themselves representing ISS Expedition 61.
READ MORE: Astronauts share breathtaking views of the Earth from 250 miles up in space
The space station crewmates they joined are NASA’s Nick Hague and Christina Koch, and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.
Together, the six astronauts live and work onboard the orbital laboratory – the largest manmade object to be put into space.
The ISS flies around the Earth at an approximate speed of 17,000mph or 7.66km per second.
Because of these neck-breaking speeds, the ISS completes a lap around the Earth roughly every 90 minutes.
READ MORE: See the best pictures of Earth from space
During this 90 minute window, astronauts spend 45 minutes in daylight and 45 minutes in darkness.
This rapid cycle results in 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets every single day.
But life on the ISS not always as idyllic as it may seem.
Because the astronauts live in a microgravity environment, they need to exercises at least two hours a day to fight against the effects of muscle loss.