German astronaut Alexander Gerst captured photos of the California wildfires from the International Space Station.
NASA
By Renae Reints
August 8, 2018

German astronaut Alexander Gerst said he is “shocked” by photos he captured from space that show a parched Earth — the result of this summer’s drastic heat.

“Just had a chance to take my first photos of dried-out Central Europe and Germany since a few weeks, and was shocked,” Gerst said in a Twitter post sharing the photos. “What should have been green, is now all brown. Never seen it like this before.”

The summer of 2018 has seen all-time highs in temperatures around the world, leaving Earth with a burnt appearance.

For comparison, Gerst also shared photos from 2014, in which green fields are visible. The pictures were taken from aboard the International Space Station, where Gerst is working on 50 European experiments, according to DW News.

The northern California wildfires — the largest in the state’s history —re also visible from space. Gerst, a former firefighter himself, shared photos of the blaze earlier this month.

Gerst’s first six-month mission on the ISS was in 2014. His current mission, Horizons, began in June of this year. Gerst is serving as the ISS Commander.

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