Astronaut Publishes Art Book of Stunning Space Photography

Chris Hadfield captured life on earth from his perch aboard the ISS.

An engineer, astronaut, and bonafide YouTube sensation, Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space, already boasts an impressive list of accomplishments. Not least among them is his space photography, which is now the subject of a new art book, You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes, reports the Wall Street Journal.

While living aboard the International Space Station (ISS), most recently during a five-month stint that ended last May, Hadfield conducted science experiments, filmed a number of popular educational videos (and one wildly popular music video covering David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”), and took approximately 45,000 photos. He estimates in three trips to space, he’s orbited the earth 2,593 times, capturing unique, otherworldly views of our planet.

“It’s such a rare vantage point,” he told the WSJ. “I got to know the world well.”

The book’s 150 striking images, all of which are new to the public (during his journey, Hadfield regularly posted photos on Twitter), include delicately rippled waves of sand in the Gobi Desert, and the circular grids created by oil fields in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Divided by continent, the book replicates an ISS orbit, with Hadfield providing illuminating commentary on geology, geography, and meteorology.

Chris Hadfield Dawn Shadows on the Hudson, New York City. Photo: Chris Hadfield, via Twitter.

Chris Hadfield Dawn Shadows on the Hudson, New York City.
Photo: Chris Hadfield, via Twitter

Photography on the ISS carries its own unique challenges, not least of all speed. A 92-minute orbit route leaves only about 10 minutes spent above the US, leaving Hadfield precious little time to line up the perfect shot. (The current crop of ISS astronaut’s photography efforts are being mapped on Twitter.) Nevertheless, his remote photos remain a poignant reminder of both the fragility and majesty of life on our planet as it drifts through the vacuum of space.

Chris Hadfield’s You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes (Little, Brown and Co. and Random House Canada) will be published on October 14. New York’s American Museum of Natural History will host a lecture and book signing with the retired astronaut to coincide with the launch.

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