Aachen, Cologne and Bonn, Germany
Running along the Rhine river, the cites of Bonn and Cologne are located on the right of this night-time image taken from the International Space Station.
Cologne to the North is home to the European Astronaut Centre located at one of the German Aerospace Centre's main sites. The bright lights on the right illuminate the runway of the Köln-Bonn airport in between the two cities.
At the top-left of the image is Aachen bordering the Netherlands and Belgium. In between Aachen and Cologne is the city Düren that seems to use differently coloured street lighting to its neighbours.
This image was taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station with Nightpod in 2012. The Nightpod camera-stand tracks the movement of Earth passing under the Station at 28,800 km/h, keeping any target fixed in the middle of the viewfinder. Standard cameras fixed to Nightpod can use longer exposure times so that astronauts can take sharper pictures of cities at night.
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