The sun reflects off of Earth as night approaches, April 5, 2016.
The sun reflects off of Earth as night approaches, April 5, 2016.Tim Peake—ESA/NASA
The sun reflects off of Earth as night approaches, April 5, 2016.
Volcanoes, part of the Pacific "Ring of FIre" in Kamchatka, Russia, May 16, 2016.
Rock formations in Mellit, Sudan, Feb. 27, 2016.
The Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, April 19, 2016.
Yellow stripes of sand stretch across the Erg Iguidi Desert from Algeris to northern Mauritania, Feb. 22, 2016.
A swirling plankton bloom off the coast of Patagonia, April 1, 2016.
Clouds form over the Indian Ocean, May 28, 2016.
The 210 milltion year old Manicouagan impact crater in Canada, April 15, 2016.
Lake Viedma in the southern ice fields of Patagonia, March 24, 2016.
Rio Santa Cruz carries glacial river water into Lago Argentina, Patagonia, March 23, 2016.
London at midnight, Jan. 30, 2016.
An aurora over northern Canada, Jan, 20, 2016.
Milky Way rising over the horizon, June 6, 2016.
The sun reflects off of Earth as night approaches, April 5, 2016.
Tim Peake—ESA/NASA
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An Astronaut's View: Photos From 6 Months in Space

Jun 18, 2016

Tim Peake, the European Space Agency's first British astronaut, returns to Earth today after six months in space.

Peake left planet Earth on Dec. 15, 2015, along with NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and commander-cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko. His six month, science-focused mission was named Principia, after Isaac Newton’s Naturalis Principia Mathematica. During his time on the space station, Peake maintained the weightless research laboratory, running scientific experiments for researchers on Earth.

Peake took hundreds of photos during his stay, capturing everything from night fishing boats to the aurora borealis. He seems to have a particular soft spot for the dramatic landscapes of Patagonia in Argentina. "One of my favorite pics so far," he writes of an image of Patagonia's southern ice field.

But it wasn't all work. Peake also created a beautiful time-lapse of lightning striking Earth, shared a Facebook video explaining how space toilets work, and even found the time to watch the new Star Wars film.

The three astronauts were scheduled to arrive back two weeks ago, but their mission was extended in order to keep the space station at full capacity. “Although I am looking forward to being back on Earth and seeing friends and family again," he told ESA, "each day spent living in space is a huge privilege and there is much work to do on the Station. And, of course, I get to enjoy the beautiful view of planet Earth for a little while longer!”

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