This image of Venus shining like a cosmic jewel was taken from the International Space Station (ISS) on December 5, 2015, by Kimiya Yu, an astronaut with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
JAXA released the photo on the heels of a recent triumph: On December 7, 2015, the Akatsuki probe successfully entered the elliptical orbit of Venus.
The probe hopes to learn about Venus’surface and atmosphere, which scientists currently believe is a nightmarish landscape of thick, toxic clouds and possiblelightning storms and volcanic activity.
The photograph was snapped during the second to last day of the Akatsuki probe’s long journey towards Venus.
David MacLean, from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Canada, told IFLScience the image was taken when the ISS was above the western coast of India, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) inland from Mumbai, looking towards the east coast. The city lights are beaming out of Hyderabad (lowerright), Nagpur (lowerleft) and Raipur (upper left).