canaries from spaceThis picture, taken by Italian astronaut Samantha Christoforetti, who has been on board the ISS since the end of November, shows all the islands lit up at night with an amazing starry backdrop and curved surface of the Earth. The unique photo was snapped as part of an improvised cooperation deal between the astronauts on the ISS and the Observatory on the island of La Palma, which houses Italy's Galileo National Telescope.

Astronomers at the Observatory tracked the progress of the ISS as it passed overhead on 26 March and sent images in real time to the station, receiving the spectacular shot of the Canaries from space in return. Readers may recall that another photo of the Canaries taken from space won NASA's Tournament Earth competition a year ago.

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