Much of the time, pictures of Earth from space are enjoyable and beautiful things. At first glance, this picture appears to be just another picture of Earth at night, but this one is special. This image shows Israel and the Gaza strip, and it clearly shows a bomb going off. That’s right, the astronauts on the ISS can actually see the fighting going on near the Gaza strip (well, they can see the rockets exploding).
This picture was taken by the German astronaut Alexander Gerst. When he posted it on Twitter, he added the caption, “My saddest photo yet. From the International Space Station we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over Gaza and Israel.”
As many of you know, Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a military conflict for about three weeks. Thus far, 680 Palestinians and 34 Israelis have been killed as a result of the fighting and a cease-fire agreement has yet to be reached. If you want more information about the conflict, you can look here.
Though, the astronauts are usually treated with spectacularly beautiful views of our planet, sometimes disaster (both man and nature made) show their ugly head. In 2001, astronauts were able to see the plums of smoke from the World Trade Center after those attacks. In 2011, ISS astronauts were again able to see disaster on our planet when a tsunami devastated Japan. Fortunately, disasters tend to be far and few between as compared to the beauty the astronauts are constantly able to witness. It’s interesting that, from space, the only thing you can really see from people are our large artificially lit cities, or as it turns out a single explosion from a missile is included on that list as well.