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View the Earth from the heavens in this week's featured time lapse.

Stunning NASA images show auroras over Moscow, day and night shots of major cities

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Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, June 23, 2014, 2:38 PM - On Monday, NASA released a stunning satellite image taken over Moscow, Russia.

The snapshot -- which was captured on April 2, 2014 aboard the ISS -- features a dazzling display of green and blue northern lights dancing across the sky. Above that, the moon can be seen in the form of a white disk.

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The starburst-shaped city in the image is Moscow. Other cities visible in the image are Nizhni Novgorod, which is 400 km from Moscow, Saint Petersburg, 625 km from Moscow, and Finland’s capital city Helsinki.

NASA satellite images are a constant source of inspiration, providing the public with a unique view on the communities they inhabit.

Here are some day and night shots of other major cities.


One of the crew members aboard the International Space Station photographed this night image of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on March 31, 2013. The day time shot is of the Fraser Valley.


Like many Japanese cities, the lights of Tokyo, Japan, have a blue-green glow that comes from mercury vapor lighting. This image was taken on February 5, 2008.


Chicago, Illinois is home to roughly three million people with a wider metropolitan area that includes nearly 10 million. These day and night snapshots were captured in October 2003.

SPAIN AND PORTUGAL (the Iberian Peninsula)

Spain and Portugal's city lights outline the Iberian Peninsula, as seen by the International Space Station.


Startling satellite imagery from NASA reveals the stark contrast between North Korea and South Korea at night. In the image above snapped on January 30, 2014, it's hard to decipher North Korea's borders from the sea. 

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"North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China," NASA writes. "The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. Its capital city, Pyongyang, appears like a small island, despite a population of 3.26 million ... the light emission from Pyongyang is equivalent to the smaller towns in South Korea." 

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