Astronaut Photographs Lingering Ice on Lake Superior

I'd forgotten all about the ice, but space station astronaut Terry Virts reminded me it was still there - on May 23 - hiding out on Lake...

Ice lake May 23 featured

Ice L Superior May23 Terry Virts ISS_edited-1
NASA astronaut Terry Virts was struck by the fascinating patterns created by the remaining ice on Lake Superior Saturday May 23. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

I'd forgotten all about the ice, but space station astronaut Terry Virts reminded me it was still there - on May 23 - hiding out on Lake Superior north of Batchawana Bay in western Ontario. His eye was taken by the artful patterns created by the remains of a once-massive ice sheet that covered nearly 95% of the lake this winter. I've quickly grown used to spring's green grass, leaves and flowers, so the photo surprised me, even if I live in Duluth, Minn.,where one should never be surprised by snow or ice.

Ice Lake Superior May 23 MODIS_FINAL
This satellite photo from NASA taken on Friday May 22 shows Lake Superior and the ice (far right) in context. I've also labeled the controlled burn that happened that day in the pin barrens in northwestern Wisconsin. Credit: NASA/SSEC/Univ. of Wis. Madison


Virts is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force and current commander of the International Space Station . He enjoys taking pictures from 250 miles up through the windows of the space station at every opportunity. Just check his Twitter page . I've included a few of my favorites from his recent photos and short videos.

ISS Virts May 24 Milky Way
View of the Milky Way over the nightside of Earth taken today May 24, 2015. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

ISS Virts auroras west of Australia May13
Virts describes this aurora he saw on May 13 west of Australia as one of the most incredible he's seen. Click to watch the video. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

ISS Moon May18 Virts
A very thin moon some of you may have seen, too. Photographed on May 18 from orbit. Shadows cast by the walls of large craters create the dark slices through the crescent. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts


ISS Virts sunrise May10
Sunrise on May 10. Seen from 250 miles high, the Earth's lower atmosphere, the part we breath in and out everyday, is seen for what it truly is - a thin, life-giving layer. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

Iss Virts May 5 shadowTstorm
Thunderstorm clouds and the shadows they cast on May 5. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

ISS Virts May 18 airglow O and OH
On May 18, Virts photographed a starry sky and airglow from energy given off by oxygen and OH (hydroxyl radicals) in the atmosphere at night. Click to see a video. Credit: NASA/Terry Virts

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