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Amazing Photos Of Earth From Above, From Canada's Tiny Space Program

A very social media-savvy astronaut from the frozen North recently took over on the International Space Station, and the images he’s beaming back are incredible.

  • <p>Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, dubbed "perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth," has been posting pictures taken from the International Space Station. As noted by the commenters, the flying saucer in the corner was Hadfield’s April Fools joke.</p>
  • <p>"Pillowy farms of eastern Europe, tidily etched in snow."</p>
  • <p>"Helsinki and Tallinn, two long-enduring gatekeepers to the Gulf of Finland."</p>
  • <p>"These mouthwatering generous folds of icing are actually Saudi sand."</p>
  • <p>"The front range of the Rockies, rising beautifully from the plain."</p>
  • <p>"Morning jet traffic over San Francisco."</p>
  • <p>"Fogo, a volcano so big it peaks above the Atlantic. Last active 18 years ago."</p>
  • <p>"Tonight’s Finale: Italy, heel and toe."</p>
  • <p>"The Cupola, our window on the world."</p>
  • <p>"Tonight’s Finale: Canadarm2 blushing with the dawn."</p>
  • <p>"Sometimes Mother Nature uses a protractor, like here on New Zealand’s South Island."</p>
  • <p>"The river hiccups like a zipper on an old coat."</p>
  • <p>"Moose Jaw, SK, and the airport where I truly learned how to fly. Home of the renowned RCAF Snowbirds aerobatic team."</p>
  • <p>"Tonight’s Finale: Our Earth is mostly liquid rock. We live on a thin crust, with occasional hot spots like Mt. Etna."</p>
  • 01 /14

    Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, dubbed "perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth," has been posting pictures taken from the International Space Station. As noted by the commenters, the flying saucer in the corner was Hadfield’s April Fools joke.

  • 02 /14

    "Pillowy farms of eastern Europe, tidily etched in snow."

  • 03 /14

    "Helsinki and Tallinn, two long-enduring gatekeepers to the Gulf of Finland."

  • 04 /14

    "These mouthwatering generous folds of icing are actually Saudi sand."

  • 05 /14

    "The front range of the Rockies, rising beautifully from the plain."

  • 06 /14

    "Morning jet traffic over San Francisco."

  • 07 /14

    "Fogo, a volcano so big it peaks above the Atlantic. Last active 18 years ago."

  • 08 /14

    "Tonight’s Finale: Italy, heel and toe."

  • 09 /14

    "The Cupola, our window on the world."

  • 10 /14

    "Tonight’s Finale: Canadarm2 blushing with the dawn."

  • 11 /14

    "Sometimes Mother Nature uses a protractor, like here on New Zealand’s South Island."

  • 12 /14

    "The river hiccups like a zipper on an old coat."

  • 13 /14

    "Moose Jaw, SK, and the airport where I truly learned how to fly. Home of the renowned RCAF Snowbirds aerobatic team."

  • 14 /14

    "Tonight’s Finale: Our Earth is mostly liquid rock. We live on a thin crust, with occasional hot spots like Mt. Etna."

Canadians go to space too, eh?

While American astronauts and Russian cosmonauts may typically get most of the recognition for space exploration, our neighbor to the north’s space program recently made news when astronaut Chris Hadfield recently became the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station earlier this month.

Since arriving, he’s posted incredible pictures of earth from his unique perspective— to Facebook and to Twitter, where he’s acquired more than half a million followers, leading Forbes to call him "perhaps the most social media savvy astronaut ever to leave Earth." He even did an "Ask me anything" interview session on Reddit.

His text updates provide a perspective on what ordinary life in space is like: "We shut off most lights at bedtime—it feels right to do it" he told one Redditor. "I hit my head about once per day," he told another. But his photos of cities, land masses, islands from space are anything but ordinary.