The thin blue line of Earth's atmosphere appears on the horizon beyond the Red Sea and the Nile River in Africa, February 3, 2021.

Astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) drink in stunning views every day.

This composite photograph of Cuba, the Bahamas, and southern Florida was taken from the ISS on May 2, 2021.

From more than 402 kilometres above the Earth, they can see city lights, mountain ranges, major storms, and melting glaciers.

The night lights of Istanbul, Turkey, split by the Bosphorus Strait and the Golden Horn, May 10, 2021.

Since the space station orbits Earth every 90 minutes, astronauts see 16 sunrises and sunsets per day.

The sun rises above the Indian Ocean off the coast of Western Australia, as photographed from the space station, May 20, 2021.

There are currently seven people on the station.

Mount Taranaki in New Zealand, captured from the ISS, January 25, 2021.

Some of them - including European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA astronaut Megan McArthur - regularly post stunning photos on social media.

The night lights of Tokyo, Japan, February 27, 2021.

Agricultural areas can make beautiful patterns, like these farms in the desert. It's not easy to pin down exact locations from space, but Pesquet said this was somewhere in Africa.

A desert peppered with blue and green circles where crops are grown, captured from the ISS.

In some places, like Bolivia, those pretty patterns - and the crops growing within them - come at the expense of clearing tropical rainforest.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet shared this image on Twitter with the caption: "Star-like patterns in San Pedro Limón, Bolivia where areas of the tropical dry forest have been cleared for agriculture."

When spaceships launch towards the station, carrying astronauts or supplies, those aboard the ISS often watch the rocket streaking towards them.

The plasma trail of Russia's Progress 77 resupply ship launching towards the ISS, July 26, 2021.

Astronauts don't always know what they're looking at.

The far eastern, desert-covered portion of Western Australia, May 14, 2021.

But sometimes they spot something distinct and dramatic, like a volcano spewing gas.

A volcano in Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, captured from the ISS, April 2, 2021.

Occasionally, they even spy their homelands - like this picture Pesquet snapped of his birthplace in Normandy, France.

Astronaut Thomas Pesquet snapped this image of Normandy shortly after arriving at the International Space Station, April 28, 2021.

"How can something so beautiful be tolerated by human eyes?" NASA astronaut Mike Massimino told the Washington Post, referring to his feelings the first time he saw Earth from above.

Cape Town in South Africa is pictured with the sun's glint beaming off the South Atlantic coast, captured from the ISS, February 28, 2021.

But lately, some of the sights from the ISS have been more concerning.

"We've been very saddened to see fires over huge sections of the Earth, not just the United States," McArthur told Insider on a recent call from the space station.

Plumes of smoke billow from wildfires in Northern California, August 4, 2021.
NASA/Megan McArthur

Other consequences of climate change are easily visible from the ISS, too. "We can see all of those effects from up here," McArthur said.

The declining Upsala Glacier in Patagonia, captured where it melts into water by astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Pesquet photographed Hurricane Ida just hours before it struck Louisiana as a Category 4 storm.

Hurricane Ida as a Category 2 storm on August 28, 2021.

"It's worrying to see these weather phenomena becoming stronger and more frequent from our vantage point," Pesquet said on Twitter.

Hurricane Ida as a Category 2 storm, photographed through a space station window port on August 28, 2021.

Lately the astronauts can even see dwindling reservoirs along the Colorado River, which is in its first-ever official water shortage.

On the bright side, though, astronauts caught a stunning view of the southern aurora earlier this month.

The aurora australis above the southern Indian Ocean, in between Asia and Antarctica, photographed from the space station on August 2, 2021.

"I wasn't surprised by the auroras, but I was kind of bowled over by how breathtaking they really were, and how mesmerising it was to see it with my own eyes," McArthur said.

The aurora australis above the southern Indian Ocean, in between Asia and Antarctica, photographed from the space station on August 2, 2021.

McArthur has also been scoping out US National Parks to visit with her husband - astronaut Bob Behnken - and their son once she's back on the ground.

Joshua Tree National Park, photographed from space by astronaut Megan McArthur.

Passing over the US, she can see several National Parks in just a few minutes.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, photographed from space by astronaut Megan McArthur.

"The other thing that we can see, of course, is the very thin lens of atmosphere," McArthur said.

The atmosphere glows above the southeastern African coast, as seen from the International Space Station.

"That is what protects our Earth and everything on it," she added. "We see how fragile that is, and we know how important it is."

The thin blue line of Earth's atmosphere appears on the horizon beyond the Red Sea and the Nile River in Africa, February 3, 2021.

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