A fascinating image of a bright dot gleaming in the middle of a desert on Earth was shared by an astronaut on board the International Space Station.
While astronauts orbiting Earth at night can view bright city lights, during the day it is much more unusual to detect bright spots above the Earth. Samantha Cristoforetti, 45, of the European Space Agency, was the first to observe such a phenomenon, and she took to Twitter to share photos and provide some background on the phenomenon’s beginnings.
This is a very interesting sight!” The Negev desert has a new sparkling dot… the Italian astronaut tweeted on Thursday. It’s really weird to see man-made lights throughout the day!
A concentrated solar power plant is one method of harnessing the sun’s regenerative rays. With the largest solar power tower in the world!” she said.
Ashalim Solar Thermal Power Station in Israel’s Negev desert employs mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a tower 820 feet tall, which is the source of the bright dot, as explained by Cristoforetti. Considered to be among the world’s tallest solar power towers.
The ESA astronaut’s tweet, which features a breathtaking image of Earth from orbit, has gone viral on the microblogging platform, garnering thousands of ‘likes.’ Also included in Cristoforetti’s article was the hashtag #MissionMinerva.
Cristoforetti’s second trip to the ISS is called Minerva. In 2014, for Mission Futura, she took her maiden flight to the Station.