Buenos noches

By Phil Plait | June 5, 2012 6:58 am

For no other reason than it is beautiful, here is a picture astronaut André Kuipers took of Buenos Aires as the International Space Station sailed into the night over the Atlantic Ocean.

[Click to enmásgrandenate.]

Kuipers took that picture on May 11, 2012. Looking to the west you can see the city lights, as well as the thin green line of the atmospheric aerosol layer. I suspect that’s Venus right over the horizon, too. The silhouette is of the Russian Progress 47 capsule which docked with the ISS in April, and will remain there for several more months.

Image credit: NASA/ESA

Related Posts:

Psychedelic space station stars and cities
Space Station star trails
Southern lights greet ISS and Atlantis
ATV docks with the ISS (this is a must-see picture!)

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Pretty pictures

Comments (19)

  1. Chris

    I’m starting to wonder if the astronauts are doing any work up there or are they just taking pictures all the time? :-)

  2. @ ^ Chris : Sssshhhhhh! Don’t tell NASA! 😉

    Wow. That is a seriously wondrously superluminously marvellous photo. I love it. 😀

    How bright is Venus against the blackness of space and yet how black a dot will that Earth-sized world appear against the Solar surface during the Cytherean transit* not too many hours from now ? 8)


    * NB. ‘Cytherean’ = adjective pertaining to the planet Venus derived from the island of Cytheria (now called Cerigo) on whose shores Venus supposedly emerged in Hellenistic /Roman mythology. I prefer that to ‘Venusian.’

  3. Alpha

    Hey!!! Nice catch of our Home City!!! Greetings from Argentina 😀
    Unfortunately we won’t be able to catch the Venus transit… :(
    PS: BTW, and not wanting to look like a grammar “nazi” 😀 but the title should read “BuenAs” (feminine) instead of ” Buenos” (masculine) since Noche in spanish is feminine… one of those tricky things involving languages of latin origin :-p

  4. En todo caso Buenas noches, caballero. Buenas para usté también

    Yeah, I realise that was intended to be a pun, but it sounds awful for us. Pretty nice picture though.

  5. 3 alpha:
    I saw that too, but I think he’s riffing on the combination of “Buenos Aires” with “buenas noches.” Which probably sounds just wrong, but is kind of a pun. Kinda.

  6. Lucas

    I’m from Buenos Aires too and I was about to to say the same as alpha. But its already said, so instead i’m gonna point to the new http://zenpencils.com/ poster featuring Phil :)

  7. Yprum

    “Buenas noches” not buenos :þ

    OK, well, good catch 4.Squidocto!

  8. Duncan

    Good Morning Dr Phil,

    When you get a chance, head over to zenpencils.com. I think you will enjoy his latest posting.



  9. Of course, amateur astronomers in or near Buenos Aires hate those lights.

  10. Alpha

    @4. Squidocto:
    I saw what you did there 😀 …. cool, and yes Phillip, amateur astronomers hate those lights, as any other living on a crowded city unfortunately.

  11. flip


    I’m assuming the lighter blue on the left-hand side of Earth is the sun rising up behind?

  12. Anon

    @2. MTU:

    The proper word is Venerean I think, but that sounds a bit too similar to venereal.

  13. Matt B.

    @2 MTU & 8 Anon: Yes, “Venerean”. If you can handle “Jovian” for Jupiter, you can handle the degenerate 3rd-declension Latin noun paradigm that suggests “Venerean” for Venus. Besides, it fits in with the common adjectives associated with planets. Just change the n to l:

    Mercurial – Mercurian
    Venereal – Venerean
    Terrestrial – Terrestrian
    Martial – Martian
    Jovial – Jovian

  14. For those who are correcting my grammar, ask yourself: “What city is in that picture, and hey, doesn’t Phil usually have funny titles with puns in them and sometimes inside jokes to make us laugh?”

  15. Diego Azuaga

    ¿Pueden confirmarme si me ubiqué bien en la imagen o “mandé fruta”?
    Can you confirm if I positioned myself right in the picture?


  16. @16 Diego: That’s the way I read it too. Go to the Blue Marble Navigator website and check with the night lights imagery.

    @10 Phillip: Amen to that. You can die before seeing most deep space objects with your own eyes if you have no car.

    @12 Flip: That’s a sunset. The ISS was over the Atlantic Ocean. See the ground track I posted earlier.

  17. flip

    Thanks Esketekebanka. At least I knew it was the sun, if not the direction… 😉

  18. Luciano

    es un juego de palabras che! Buenos … (Aires) ! Buenos…. Noche! foto de la ciudad de buenos airres de noche! esta claro que es Buenas Noche!


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