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Commander Chris Hadfield tweets picture of Southampton from International Space Station
IT is a spectacular image of our region usually saved for the privileged few.
This picture of the Solent region was snapped from 234 miles above the Earth – from the International Space Station.
It was taken by space station commander Chris Hadfield who placed it on the Internet.
The Canadian commander, who is in charge of expedition 35, showed the picture on the social media network Twitter to his 500,000 followers.
With it he put the words “Southampton, UK, easy to see what a good natural port it is from orbit.”
Despite being taken from so high above the world the photograph gives a clear view of south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
To the west is Hurst Spit and to the east it is easy to make out Portsmouth Harbour.
It is easy to follow Southampton Water north into the city, through the docks and into the River Test.
It also shows the dark blue seas of the Solent, between the Isle of Wight and the mainland, while the New Forest area is clearly a darker green, and the built up areas are greyer.
Commander Hadfield also tweeted a picture of the Isle of Wight saying. “It looks like a jigsaw piece that needs to be moved up and in.”
He has been constantly tweeting pictures of landmarks and cities across the globe since December 19 last year.
In a ceremony miles above the earth yesterday the 52-year-old was awarded the keys to the shuttle by being given the role of commander.
The astronaut is able to connect to the Internet from the Space Station via a satellite to a mirror site in mission control.
Photographing earth is one of the favourite pastimes of astronauts onboard the ISS.
Cmdr Hadfield has been living in space for almost three months.
He will stay in space as part of expedition 35 until May 14.
The mission focuses on new experiments including the first miniaturised blood-cell counter in microgravity.