Astronauts’ stays on the International Space Station generally last for around six months or more, so it makes sense that they’d start getting hit with a little nostalgia for the motherland they’re so casually encircling. How nostalgic, you ask? Very: 1,129,177 photos worth, to be exact.
Rocket scientist Nathan Bergey had the ingenious idea to turn these ISS snapshots into the ultimate space scrapbook — by plotting the coordinates of every single image taken from space.
The data is all public, so by combing through the mammoth amounts of information in Johnson Space Center’s Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Bergey was able to create these beautifully ethereal maps, showing us what astronauts prefer to photograph and which flights had the biggest camera fetish. Breaking the plots down by individual ISS mission (the first of which was back in 2000) gives a fascinating look at both how our technological capabilities advanced and what most interested each expedition:
For instance, the maps from expeditions 30 and 31 are drawn with a fairly heavy hand thanks to Don Pettit, who Bergey noted is “single-handedly responsible for almost half the images taken on orbit”. And should you feel so inclined, you can even head over here and check out each individual photo — all one million something of them. Knock yourself out. [Natronics via The Atlantic ]