Tim Peake’s photograph of London at midnight on Saturday.
An aerial photograph of London, depicting the capital’s bright lights beaming into space at midnight is the latest social media offering from British astronaut Major Tim Peake, who blasted into space shortly before Christmas.
Since arriving at the International Space Station (ISS) more than six weeks ago, the astronaut from Chichester in Sussex has posted a series of photographs taken from space on his Twitter and Flickr accounts, including night-time images of Japan, Cairo, the southern Alps and the vibrant aurora borealis over northern Canada.
However, Saturday was the first time Peake posted photos of his home country, displaying two images of central London, accompanied by others of Paris, Brussels and southern England.
“Hey, I recognise that place!”, he wrote in the caption under the initial post. “Looking to the east along the Channel with UK on the left and France on the right. The streetlights from densely populated London, Paris and Brussels glow brightly in the centre of the picture.”
Tim Peake’s picture of southern Britain on the left and France on the right. Photograph: Tim Peake/ESA/Nasa
Peake then posted two images of central London on his Flickr and Twitter accounts, writing: “London midnight Saturday – I’d rather be up here … but only just! #toughcall”.
Peake, who has more than 402,000 followers on Twitter, has posted regular updates online since blasting off from Kazakhstan for the ISS on 15 December as part of the Principia mission. Travelling with him are Russian Yuri Malenchenko, who is a veteran of 641 days in space, and Nasa’s Timothy Kopra, who is on his second visit to the space station.
The former British Army Air Corps officer made headlines over Christmas when he used the wrong number to phone home. After failing to connect, he posted on Twitter: “I’d like to apologise to the lady I just called by mistake saying: ‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’ – not a prank call… just a wrong number!”
Peake’s job during his six-month mission is to run science experiments on board the space station. He also plans to train for the London marathon in his spare time.
A selfie taken by British astronaut Tim Peake during his spacewalk on Friday.
Photograph: Tim Peake/PA