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Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have the best views.

They are lucky enough to see the world at night on every orbit of the Earth sixteen times each crew day.

This amazing shot was captured looking out over the remotest central equatorial Pacific Ocean, 2600 km (1620 miles) south of Hawaii (over the island nation of Kiribati).

The stars are our Milky Way galaxy, as seen looking almost due west. The Milky Way angles across the view from the left margin up to the top right corner, where it is masked by parts of the ISS (top margin). The view is toward the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The dark patches are dense dust clouds in an inner spiral arm of our galaxy that block our view of stars toward the center.

ISS044-E-45215

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