European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on Thursday shared pics taken aboard the International Space Station in which light reflecting off of the Ashalim solar station in Israel’s Negev can be seen.
In a tweet, the Italian astronaut said it is «so unusual to see human-made lights in day passes!»
Ashalim is a solar power station built near kibbutz Ashalim, south of Beersheba in Israel’s South. The entire complex, which includes hundreds of solar panels that surround the tower, has a capacity of around 121 megawatts, enough to power some 120,000 homes.
It stood as the tallest solar tower in the world at 260 meters on its completion but was surpassed by the tower constructed at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the United Arab Emirates in 2020.
«Intriguing sight! A bright dot in the Negev desert,» Cristoforetti added. «It’s a concentrated solar power plant, one of the technologies to get renewable energy from the sun…one of the world’s tallest solar power towers!»
Cristoforetti is currently on the ISS as part of NASA’s commercial crew mission SpaceX Crew-4, which lifted off in April. The mission is planned to be completed next month.