Snapped from space... the clouds part for a view of Belfast
Published 07/03/2013 | 01:00
This is Belfast as you have never seen it before.
The startling image was captured from aboard the International Space Station, orbiting more than 200 miles above earth.
It was taken by Commander Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut who has been snapping photos of Earth from the space station and sharing them online.
They include incredible images of sprawling cities, the devastating Australian wildfires and even Chinese New Year celebrations in Tiananmen Square.
And yesterday he shared a unique view of Belfast, taken from outer space, with almost half a million of his followers on Twitter.
"Belfast, Northern Ireland. The distinctive, historic harbor stands out clearly from orbit," Hadfield tweeted.
Last night the photo had been retweeted over 1,100 times.
Hadfield, who has a daughter studying at Trinity College in the Republic, has previously shot and tweeted two photos of Dublin.
He also provided the first message tweeted from space in Irish – Tá Éire fíorálainn! (Ireland is exquisite). He added: "Land of green hills dark beer. With Dublin glowing in the Irish night."
Hadfield has been aboard the space station since December carrying out scientific experiments.
The space station orbits earth every 92 minutes at 8km per second.