News and Views from Scotland

On a Clear Day...You Can See the Mainland...and the Cairngorms as Well!

Scotland from Space - Picture by Jeff Williams of NASA

The picture was taken from the International Space Station (ISS), 220 miles above the earth.

With some understatement, astronaut Jeff Williams said "We had a great view of Scotland today... very rare to not be covered with clouds."

British astronaut Tim Peake has just returned from a six month spell in the ISS. While former Army Major, aged 43, was in space he broadcast a special New Year's Eve message to the people of Scotland saying "I've enjoyed celebrating Hogmanay on many occasions in Scotland. As much as I'd love to be down there with you celebrating this evening, I think this year I've found the perfect place to see in 2016!"

Scotland's weather, subjected as it is to a prevailing south-westerly wind from the North Atlantic, certainly produces a lot of cloud cover and rain (which has a lot of beneficial side effects but makes getting a reliable sun-tan more difficult). But if you are whizzing round the world more than 15 times a day in the International Space Station there have been many occasions when Scotland has been pictured from space without clouds obscuring the ground. Here are a couple of examples...

High ground in Scotland covered in winter snow.

Scotland at night as seen from space in 2012. The bright lights of the towns and cities in the central belt are in stark contrast to the low density of population in many parts of the Highlands and Islands

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August 2016

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