The Most Photogenic Place on Earth

For twenty years, I have been looking at the photography of the Earth taken by astronauts in space. There are a few places where the astronauts seem to photograph the most. These places seem to catch the eye. They want to take pictures of them so they can remember and also share those views with those of us on Earth.  Those places are the Bahamas off the coast of Florida, the Himalayas of Nepal, north of India, the Canadian and U.S. Rockies, and the Peru and Chile coast in South America.


To me, the Bahamas are the most photogenic place on Earth, but you know what they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.  I find the Bahamas the most photogenic because my degrees are in oceanography and meteorology so I love the water and the hues of blues that make up the Bahamas.


Here are sample photos, taken by an astronaut, of each place.  What place do you think is the most photogenic?  If you were flying over it, which place would just have to snap a picture?  Why?


If you want to see more images of each place go to the “Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth”  ( and under the “Find Photos”, search using the clickable map.


ISS006-E-50972- Andros Island, Bahamas

ISS008-E-13321 – Lalung Pass, Mt. Choksiam, Himalaya Mountains.

ISS015-E-14086 – Kinta Lake in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada.


ISS016-E-35589 – The coast along the boarder between Peru and Chile, South America.

47 thoughts on “The Most Photogenic Place on Earth”

  1. Chile is definitely the most photogenic place, especially over the fjords in the Western Patagonia and the ice fields =)

  2. What place do i think is the most photogenic? I have to agree the Bahamas is a overwhelming place to see from airb because of the diversity of colors.

    If I were flying over earth, I would just have to snap a picture of the glaciers. Why? We are just loosing them, and would like to keep a beautiful memory of them.

  3. Hi

    I think the pictures are all great. If I was in space, I would photographe all parts of the world. The view must be great.

    But how can yous see big citys on those pictures?? I can’t see any.


  4. I think the picture of Andros Island is the most photogenic. I really like the different colors and levels of elevation. It almost looks like something out of a movie, it is very scenic and of course is a place I would like to travel to.

  5. TH,
    It would be cool to be in space taking those photos. But for now, by looking at the pictures, that the astronauts downlink to us, we can get a sense of what they are seeing and experiencing, minus the weightlessness, of course.
    The pictures that were included in the original post didn’t really have any large cities in them. Many astronaut images actually show large cities very well. We have a Cities imagery collection on our website under “Collections” on the home page at In fact for many cities we have daylight and night city lights of the cities, such as for Chicago or London.

  6. I really like the image of the Andros Island, Bahamas and Lalung Pass, Mt. Choksiam, Himalaya Mountains. Bill Reddin Rep of Ireland

  7. I love the volcano shot and your comentary on the film clip I saw , I whish I had recorded all ten photos.
    Keep up the great work your doing promoating space photography !

  8. Hi,

    The Himalaya pictures are a personal favorite of mine. The foothills in front give an apearance of a distorted perspective. Interestingly, a 360� panorama taken from the top of Mt. Everest is topped by the blackness of space.



  9. wow!these are amazing!!!!!!!!! i wish someday there will be enough technology so every one can see this by them self but for this we need to protect our home -earth.

  10. Being from the Bahamas, I have never seen pictures from that aspect and realizing the beauty of it. It is beautiful!

  11. WOW! I like them all! If I had to choose, however, I’d have to go with the one of the Kinta Lake in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. I just love pictures of the Earth from Space. If I were in space, I would have to take a picture of a dense forest area. Then I would go to a different window (this is assuming an unlimited amount of flight time) and spend some time staring at the stars. I’d end up going back and forth for an eternity

  12. Roy Elasson Wrote: I would like to see more space shuttle shots .It is hard to understand how large it is. Doesa anyone have any idear of how big it is in contrast? Roy Eliasson

  13. Roy Elasson Wrote: I would like to see more space shuttle shots .It is hard to understand how large it is. Doesa anyone have any idear of how big it is in contrast? Roy Eliasson

  14. I have been interested in the space program for many year. I have a friend with Tom Hennen that flew on STS44 and since that time I have followed the program closely. I see the space station overhead and wonder how it feels to be up there!!! It must be a beautiful view. I certaily am no engineer but how could I go on a shuttle or get to that space station. I would love it!!! Could I come to NASA to view the station, or is there an observatory in driving distance from Seabrook to view the station?

  15. Nice! I love it I could look at this type of photography for the rest of my life, very interesting but I really enjoy the views of Spitzer Space Telescope ,, Chandra,Soho,Swift,Keck Interferometer,Subaru to name a few and NGST, NASA TV is very cool too. I can understand how it might be too much for some individuals Take care of your selves Right on,Right on….

  16. Looking for average temperature profiles over the past ten years for the moon surface and outside the space lab…where can I find them?

  17. i have never seen picture lyk this befor
    your article also good so avery mornnog bigen by reading your blog

    with best wishes

  18. The NASA photos or our Solar System do not show the new Planet found and still recognize Pluto as a Planet. Why is that? These are the photos that they distribute to fans.

  19. NASA is such a tremendous delight for any American Science major;
    Growing up with NASA opens one up to the feeling of unlimited potential in American triumph and achievement.
    MyPhysics feels that my circuits might be in need for an upgrade
    Data-acquisition error!!!
    ThankYou NASA
    Rudy Keycrease

  20. why hasent NASA returned to the moon it sounds silly but i heard that Neal Armstrong was warned to never return by strange creatures??

  21. I favour the coast along peru and chile.But all of them are super duper tops.

  22. These Photos Are Just Awesome Specially The Bahams & Himalaya They look Stunning .

    Three Cheers To NASA

  23. All the pictures are really great.I would surely agree with you that the Bahamas is the most picturesque of all

  24. these pictures are great, and i think that the most great profession in the world it is to discover all this trasure in the world. from up there i think we can see the things that is hidden from our eyes, and i thank all of you for this. i would like to know more about cosmos and more about austronauts, about people who work on it.
    thank you for beautifull things…Renata

  25. i love u NASA so muuuuuuuuuuuch…..
    and i want to join you as a astronaut…..

  26. I think it is amazing that you have the opportunity to see what what the rest of cannot. It must be an awesome experience to witness the earth from such a vantage point as space. I envy that you had the foresight to study and become a scientist and an astronaut! To bodly go where no one has gone before.

  27. I can’t decide, they all look so good.

    It would be cool to see my hometown from space if I could go up on the shuttle.

  28. The images are extraordinary, and yes the Bahamas are very lovely.
    Thanks for the thoughts and beautiful photography.
    I have another two areas to offer, especially if flying over.
    -1. The Grand Canyon is majestic and awe inspiring
    -2. The Hawaiian Islands when flying West, specifically over
    Maui, Molokai and Lanai

    Always up for seeing natures wonderful gems!

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