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It doesn’t appear that our fascination with all things space will be diminishing in 2016. Rather, with social media platforms enabling the brave men and women currently in space to share their experiences and photos with us at the drop of a hat, it’s easier and faster than ever to be tuned in with deep space exploration and instant, stunning space photography.

Veteran astronaut Scott Kelly, who in 2012 was selected for a yearlong mission on the International Space Station, which began in March 2015, has been sharing some mesmerizing and awe-inducing photographs of Africa to his Twitter account from directly onboard the ISS. Capturing extreme close ups of our planet’s landscapes, Kelly describes his photos as “Earth art” because they remind him of paintings. These photographs are just the latest in a long line of amazing photos Kelly has shared using the hashtag #YearInSpace, which he’s used to chronicle his latest space mission.


As if being the go-to name for space photography wasn’t enough to make Kelly a household name, don’t think he hasn’t earned accolades during his time at NASA. Kelly was the lead pilot for the space shuttle Discovery back in 1999, and after being selected as the mission commander for a shuttle mission to the ISS back in 2007, he parlayed that success and experience into becoming Commander of the Space Station this go around.

Kelly will continue to command this station mission until March, so hopefully we can expect to see more of his incredible space photography in the coming few months. For now, enjoy these recent close up shots of Africa from high up in the cosmos, and be sure to check out Kelly’s Twitter profile to get a look at all of his #YearInSpace photographs. Oh, and note to budding space photographers: this is how you do it.


All images property of Scott Kelly.

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