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LOOK: Astronauts capture stunning photo of Earth's night lights from space.

This once-in-a-lifetime breathtaking view of the Earth's night lights is truly something to marvel at, but for the astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS), it's simply just another day at the office.

The brave men and women behind the habitable satellite shared the stunning image on Thursday, through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) website.

According to the report, the stunning night view of the Earth was taken while the ISS was doing their usual orbit around the remote reaches of the central equatorial Pacific Ocean.

The group just happened to pass through over the island nation of Kiribati at the time, which is about 2,600 kilometers (1,600 miles) south of Hawaii.

Knowing the exact time and the location of the ISS, scientists were able to match the star field in the photo to charts describing which stars should have been visible at that moment, according to NASA.

They identified the pattern of stars towards the center of the photo as our galaxy's Milky Way, while the dark patches are the dense dust clouds in an inner spiral arm of our galaxy.

These formations can reportedly block the view of the stars from earth.

The brightest light in the image, meanwhile, is a lightning flash that illuminated a large mass of clouds.

The photograph was reportedly taken last year on August 9, 2015, by a member of the Expedition 44 crew, using a Nikon D4 digital camera with a 28 millimeter lens.

The space station orbits Earth about every 90 minutes, at approximately 16 times per day.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 19, 2016
Words:313
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