Last update: October 18th, 2019 at 10:01 am
In this panorama taken from the International Space Station (ISS), the Sun’s glint point highlights the details of Cook Strait, between New Zealand’s North and South Islands. Astronauts looking west towards the setting Sun were able to see this high-contrast detail even though the center of the glint point was 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) away from the ISS.
The sunglint shows Wellington Bay—where the capital city is located—opening onto Cook Strait. Banks Peninsula, near the city of Christchurch, is the prominent cape whose characteristic shape is well known to ISS crews.
Clouds are approaching from the top left (west) in the image. New Zealand is seldom photographed from orbit because it is one of the cloudier parts of planet, and because crew sleep periods often occur when the ISS passes over the area.