Huffpost Science

San Francisco From Space Photo Is Absolutely Breathtaking

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Pretty much everything looks better from space (even Lake Erie's toxic algae bloom). But this stunning photo of the San Francisco Bay shot by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station might take the cake.

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The nighttime photo shows a bright ring of lights surrounded by the inky darkness of the Pacific Ocean and the bay. San Francisco and the peninsula appear to the west, Silicon Valley and San Jose to the south, and the East Bay cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward and Fremont close out the circle. Four of the bay's primary bridges are visible, as are the bright downtown centers of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.

According to ESA/NASA, the photo was taken in December, 2012 while the ISS circled at an altitude of 400 km.

Check out more amazing photos from the European Space Agency in the slideshow below:

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Filed by Robin Wilkey