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Astronaut’s snaps of Earth

Look up. You can’t see him, but above your head there’s a man with a camera. Don’t worry — it’s not some fiendish new scheme to invade your privacy (this time). The man is Paolo Nespoli, an Italian astronaut on board the International Space Station. And he’s taking pictures of the world, to share with the world. Via Twitter, obviously.

His six-month mission started last December, and since he boarded the station he’s captured some stunning shots. Sometimes he reveals what the image he has posted is, like with the snaps of Cyclone Diane forming off the coast of Australia in February (above, bottom right). And sometimes he makes his followers guess, like with the photograph of the desert landscape (above, bottom left). Although in that case he gave a fairly big clue — it’s in Arizona.

But it’s not just our planet that he’s focusing on. The super moon, the space shuttle Discovery and life on board the ISS are all covered too. He’s even made some of his pictures viewable in 3D. There’s no fancy Avatar-style technology or parallax barriers at work here, though — you’ll need a pair of retro red/blue glasses.

His photographs are also available to view on his Flickr feed. And he’ll be uploading new ones until his mission ends and he returns in mid-May. Oh, and if you’re still struggling (although we’re sure that you’re not), that desert landscape is the Grand Canyon.

Flickr.com/photos/magisstra Twitter.com/astro_paolo