Astronaut on ISS Captures Image of Dazzling Blue Spheres Hovering Above Earth

Astronaut on ISS Captures Image of Dazzling Blue Spheres Hovering Above Earth
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An astronaut on the International Space Station captured mysterious blue spheres in the sky last year. NASA Earth Observatory shared the photo last year, too, shortly after it was taken. The photo was taken when the ISS was passing over Southeast Asia. However, the orbs, which appear extraterrestrial in nature, are not as mysterious as you might think.

The Earth Observatory watches over our planet while the International Space Station makes its rounds, looking for anything that might help scientists learn and understand things better. The observatory previously captured a photo of a newborn island in the pacific. That photo, as well as this photo of mysterious blue spheres in the sky, could provide new data points for scientists to inspect.

The photograph of the mysterious blue spheres in the sky was taken by a member of the Expedition 66 crew and was acquired on October 30, 2021, almost exactly one year ago. The photo was taken with a Nikon D5 digital camera with a focal length of 28 millimeters, NASA’s Earth Observatory notes in a post on its website.

While the photo may cause some trepidation to anyone looking at it out of context, the mysterious blue spheres are nothing to fear. Instead, both spheres have sound, logical reasoning behind their existence, says NASA. The first sphere, which is located near the bottom center of the image, is a lightning bolt.

mysterious blue spheres in the skyImage source: NASA Earth Observatory

These are usually hidden by clouds. However, because the clouds weren’t exceptionally heavy in that region of the world, the ISS astronaut was able to capture the mysterious blue sphere in the sky that you see in the image above.

The second mysterious sphere, which appears along the right edge of the image, is actually the Moon. Our Moon is a natural reflector of light, which is why it appears as bright as it does in the night sky. However, on this particular night, due to its location relative to the photographer, it looks more like a mysterious blue sphere in the sky and less like the Moon we look at every day.

Still, even with these more mundane explanations behind the spheres, seeing these bright blue orbs floating in the sky is exciting, and the image itself is very captivating. Hopefully, those aboard the International Space Station will continue to deliver exceptional photos like this one until NASA dismantles the ISS sometime in 2030.

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