Here's what our planet looked like from space during one of the most tumultuous years on record.

By Stacey Leasca
January 06, 2021

2020 may have been a wild year here on earth, but in space, things looked serene as ever. NASA is sharing that calm feeling by releasing its 20 favorite images taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station throughout the year. 

"The men and women who live and work on the International Space Station take thousands of photographs of their home planet every year, and we asked the folks at the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit at NASA's Johnson Space Center for a few of their favorites from 2020," NASA explained in a YouTube video caption. 

And these are no amateur photographers. As NASA also explained, in 2020 the crew aboard the space station have been "both the videographers for and subjects of a virtual reality production known as The ISS Experience."

The ISS Experience, it added, captured life on the ISS "to create a cinematic virtual reality experience." All of it was shot and produced by the already talented scientist/photographers.

As for the 20 favorite images of space picked by NASA, . The astronauts also used a number of different interchangeable lenses offering unique perspectives thanks to their different focal lengths. 

The photos include a gorgeous snapshot of the crystal blue waters around Cuba and the Bahamas. 

A view of the Caribbean from ISS
Credit: Courtesy of NASA

And a detailed view of the fall colors of Ottowa, Canada. 

View of Canada's river ways from ISS
Credit: Courtesy of NASA

It also includes a gorgeous snapshot of sunrise over Australia.

Sunrise over Earth's surface curve
Credit: Courtesy of NASA

And a few of Paris unlike any other at night.

Paris at night from ISS
Credit: Courtesy of NASA

Petapixel also noted fans of this style of space photography can see even more current images thanks to current ISS astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who's been uploading his own images to social media on a regular basis.