The Fylde Coast, seen from space.
Everyone knows that Tim Peake was the second UK astronaut to go into space, and his mission to the International Space Station did wonders to spark the interest of adults and children in science and engineering.
We'll not go into the point of the space programme here, save to say that many of the materials and systems that we take for granted in everyday life were developed initially for use in outer space.
One of the spin offs that most of us have enjoyed at some time is the view of the earth from space.
It's the only place where we can get that far-away overview from, where we can see our blue and green planet floating in a dark inky blackness and wonder whether we really are alone. (I'll confess to being a space nerd at this point, it's my favourite subject!)
If you followed Tim Peake on social media you'll know that he shared some stunning photographs of the earth and it's atmosphere as he passed overhead in the daily orbit of the ISS.
The photo below is the north of England taken on 27.12.15.
The UK is on its side with Scotland at the left. You can clearly see here what the Fylde Coast looks like from space. We're right in the centre of this photo between the clouds.
Photo: Tim Peake ESA
Have a look at these fantastic photos of the Fylde Coast, also taken from the International Space Station.
With thanks and credit to the source of this information: Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center
ISS space photo of Ribble area taken 11.4.1994
Fylde Coast, photographed from International Space Station
Fylde Coast is the bump just above the thin ribbon of cloud - you can see Morecambe Bay to the left of us and the Liverpool Bay area to the right
ISS Space Photo of the Fylde Coast and Morecambe Bay, taken 26.1.1992
What you might not know is that there is a 'High Definition Earth Viewing System' (HDEV for short) on the International Space Station. It's mounted on the external payload of the European Space Agency's Columbus Module.
It's an experiment to monitor the rate at which HD video degrades in space, mainly from the damage of cosmic rays, to verify the effectiveness of the design of the housing.
Four commercial HD video cameras are enclosed in pressurised and temperature controlled housings, each aimed in different directions at the earth. The four cameras switch on and off in a cycle in order to collect comparable data from each camera, the bonus of which is the different views of the earth.
We've shared these stunning photos of the Fylde Coast from space, but you can spend a cheerful hour looking around the archive of the rest of the UK and indeed the whole of the world.
The 'Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth' hosts a complete online collection of astronaut photography dating back to 1961.
Tip: Pin a search box on the Google map to find your space photos - don't make the box too small as it seems to work better with a bigger area.
Polite request: We put a lot of effort into finding interesting and original content to share with you. While you are very welcome to share this page and images, please make sure that you credit Visit Fylde Coast as the source which brought it to your attention. Thank you!
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