12 absolutely stunning photos of Earth taken from space

Astronaut Tim Peake just posted an incredible time-lapse video of what a lightning storm over Earth looks like from space.

GIF via Tim Peake/Facebook.

Captured by the International Space Station (ISS) as it passed over Turkey on its way to Russia, the video offers a breathtaking portrait of what it looks like to live in space — in fact, it makes “Interstellar” look like a middle-school science project gone awry.

“Amazing how much lightning can strike our planet in a short time,” Peake wrote on Facebook.

Peake’s video is just the latest in an extraordinary series of images the ISS has given us over the years. In fact, there are many more pictures of our Earth from space, too. Check ’em out:

1. London at night.

All photos via NASA.

Speaking of Peake, the British astronaut first headed to space in December 2015 and has been regularly posting brilliant images and videos to his Instagram ever since. A former British Army Air Corps officer and the first British European Space Agency astronaut, Peake uploaded this photo of his native London at night on Jan. 31, 2016. Kind of the defeats the notion that England is all gray clouds and fog, doesn’t it?

2. The aurora borealis.

Believe it or not, some astronauts are actually trained in photography as part of their preparation for traveling into outer space. Among them is current ISS Commander Scott Kelly, who took this photo with Peake on Jan. 20, 2016.

“Getting a photo masterclass from @StationCDRKelly – magical,” Peake wrote on Twitter.

Sign me up.

3. Earth art from Australia.

Not to be outdone, Commander Kelly posted this photo during a flyover of Australia back in October 2015 as part of a 17 photo series. G’day, indeed.

4. Fan art from Australia.

Of course, you don’t have to be a professional photographer — or even an astronaut, apparently — to take some stunning space photos. This image of the northwest corner of Australia “was snapped by a student on Earth after remotely controlling the Sally Ride EarthKAM aboard the International Space Station,” according to NASA.

5. Fingerprints of water on the sand.

Photographs taken from the ISS serve a much greater purpose beyond simply being gorgeous to look at. In rain-deprived areas like Oman, where this photo was snapped by NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, there are thousands of people who lack access to clean water on a daily basis. By teaming with local aid organizations, NASA is able to discover previously untapped water sources and provide these at-risk areas with water purification technology used onboard the ISS.

6. The eye of the storm.

Another benefit of space photography: incredibly precise storm-tracking. Kelly took this photo of Hurricane Danny as the ISS orbited over the central Atlantic Ocean. So again, there’s more than just a bunch of pretty views going on here, people…

7. Those views, though.

…which is not to say that ISS astronauts aren’t able to capture some remarkable images, like this shot of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains taken by Tim Peake on Jan. 5, 2016.

8. The ultimate skybox.

Kelly snapped This photo of Levi’s Stadium on the evening of Super Bowl 50. Think of it as the ultimate skybox, if you will. I can only imagine how Eli Manning would’ve reacted to this.

9. Starry night.

Here’s a photo of England, the Baltic Sea, and the Persian Gulf captured by Samantha Cristoforetti. I’d guess this one would have given Vincent Van Gogh a heart attack (ack-ack-ack).

10. Sunrise.

Can’t … look … away … too … awesome…

11. America, the beautiful.

I don’t know if it’s even possible, but I want this picture on my gravestone. SOMEONE FIGURE OUT THE LOGISTICS FOR ME.

12. EPIC space selfies.

The commander himself, Scott Kelly.

Your move, Ellen DeGeneres.

Aside from doing some of the world’s most prestigious whisky-aging, the ISS might just be the greatest photography vantage point ever as well.

Peake’s video has already been viewed almost 1 million times on Facebook since being posted on Tuesday, and thousands of eager parents have flooded their social media pages to thank both Peake and Kelly for inspiring their children, too.

This is just another reason to reach for the stars, kids. Because one day, you might actually get to touch them.

Check out the full video here:

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