German astronaut Alexander Gerst is midway through his six-month stay aboard the International Space Station. Gerst has tweeted a number of stunning images of the ISS, as well as of Earth as seen from space.
The image he posted on Wednesday was by far his most retweeted photo, and its subject was grim.
Captioned "My saddest photo yet," the image shows an aerial view of Israel and Gaza, where ongoing tensions have turned deadly in recent weeks. He adds, "From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel." The photo has been retweeted more than 27,000 times. Web viewers have also stepped in to provide context for the photo.
Redditors overlaid maps and text noting the boundaries and cities involved in the conflict. One disputed the idea that anyone could see rockets or explosions from space, much less the photo. He surmised that the lights were more likely flares used to brighten dark areas in Gaza. Regardless of whether the photo was lit up with explosions or flares, Gerst captured the conflict from a rarely seen perspective.