Ground control to Major Tim…

We’ve published some pretty stunning aerial shots of the UAE taken by astronauts in the past, but this latest one is a doozy.

Released as part of a collection of images taken of the entire Middle East from the International Space Station, this particular image was captured by astronaut Tim Kopra and posted to his Twitter account in June of last year.

The awe-inspiring shot shows the illuminated motorways of the emirates connecting Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Al Ain under a characteristically cloudless summer night sky.

In his tweet, Kopra notes that “the UAE is one of the brightest places on the planet at night” and we’re inclined to agree, judging by the brilliant display of the country’s major cities sprawling out from the sea.

How does the rest of the region look?

Not too shabby. Kopra’s Twitter account is filled with fascinating space photos from all over the planet, including some particularly choice shots of the Middle East.

Like this closeup shot of Abu Dhabi where you can clearly see the city’s methodical, grid-like road system and epic motorways connecting the many islands that make up the nation’s capital.

The astronaut also shared this impressive satellite image of a desert canyon near Hadramout in Yemen. The birds-eye-view gives an awesome view into the deep crevices of the canyon that just wouldn’t be possible from anywhere on earth.

In this tweet from May of last year, you can see the sprawling metropolis that is Cairo by night, contrasting with the dark depths of the river Nile at the bottom of the image.

For more space shots, check out Tim Kopra’s Twitter account.

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