Picture of the Day: The Planet at Night

By Megan Garber

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On April 12, 1961, the Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to see Earth from space. "The sky is very dark," he said of the view; "the Earth is bluish. Everything is seen very clearly." On March 28, 2012, the International Space Station captured this image of Gagarin's home, Russia, at night -- and from 240 miles above its surface. That's one of the station's solar panels on the left of the image. And the explosion of light on the Earth's surface? Moscow.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/picture-of-the-day-the-planet-at-night/255798/