If you need a reminder of the many reasons why we need to keep the Earth safe and healthy, here's a look at Ireland from outer space, looking absolutely stunning. Ireland’s spell of gorgeous weather in June 2014 brought clear skies and sunny days. For American astronaut Reid Wiseman, then 250 miles above Earth on board the International Space Station, it brought the rare chance to get an unobstructed view of Ireland from space.
“Hello Ireland, been waiting to see you,” Wiseman tweeted, accompanied by his photograph of Ireland. The coastlines, inlets, and rivers are all clearly visible, with just a few small clouds dotting the southwest of the country.
Hello Ireland, been waiting to see you pic.twitter.com/MVI1SczDqn— Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid) June 16, 2014
It was the first time in space for the 38-year-old US Navy Commander from Baltimore and his sense of wonder was palpable. “It is still impossible to wrap my head around the view. Just saw every place I’ve ever lived in 10 minutes,” he later said.
Earlier in the day, as Ireland moved into the ISS’ line of sight, Wiseman shared his excitement:
Wild clouds with Ireland on the horizon pic.twitter.com/3J1itCvkY4— Reid Wiseman (@astro_reid) June 16, 2014
Ireland has previously been a favorite of astronauts on board the ISS, from Canadian Chris Hadfield, who built up a massive Irish following while in space, to American Cady Coleman, who brought with her two Irish flutes belonging to the Chieftains, to Douglas Wheelock, who sent a St. Patrick's Day greeting from the ISS this year.
Commander Wiseman’s mission was six months in duration, ending in November. With fellow astronauts Steve Swanson and Alexander Gerst, leading up to the World Cup he gave Earth-bound fans a lesson on how to play soccer in space:
* Originally published in June 2014.