Turkey, Lake Van image taken by a NASA astronaut

Photo of a Turkish lake from space wins NASA contest

The image, taken in 2016 by American astronaut Kate Rubins from the ISS, has been chosen as the best photo of Earth taken from space.

The photograph of a Turkish lakeLake Van in eastern Turkey – taken from space by an astronaut has been the winner of an online contest organised by NASA in which Internet users had to vote for the best image among dozens of photographs taken from space for more than two decades.

The beautiful image of Lake Van in Turkey, in which its azure waters can be seen forming several eddies, was taken by the American astronaut Kate Rubins on September 12, 2016 from the International Space Station (ISS), and it became a finalist along with another long exposure photograph showing the lights of North America and the stars in the sky, titled “Stars in Motion” and also taken from the ISS.

As soon as the result of the final vote – which was announced earlier this week – was known, the governor of the province of Van, Emin Bilmez, expressed his joy and invited the astronaut to visit Van. “We invited Rubins to try a Van breakfast, which is in the Guinness World Records. We would like Rubins, who is an experienced cyclist, to participate in cycling tours around the beaches of Lake Van,” said Bilmez.

“When Rubins visits our city, we will give her a Van cat (…) In addition, with the agreement of the Metropolitan Municipal Assembly of Van, we will declare astronaut Kate Rubins an honorary citizen of Van“, announced the governor in statements to the Turkish news agency Anatolia.

The contest, entitled Tournament Earth, began on March 8 and was organised by NASA’s Earth Observatory, an online publication created in 1999; it showed more than two decades of images of the Earth taken by astronauts – including the one taken of this famous Turkish lake – that had to be voted on, starting with a previous selection that left 32 photographs classified for the contest. In total, more than 930,000 votes were casted during five different phases of the competition.