Sea ice drifts in the Labrador Sea in this photograph taken from the International Space Station. The ice is probably breaking away from pack ice along the coast of Newfoundland during the spring melt. NASA scientists studying satellite data believe warmer-than-normal temperatures in the Arctic may be the cause of a decline in sea ice over the past 20 years.
Astronauts on board the International Space Station take thousands of photographs of the Earth every mission, which are used to study geography, transient events (like the spring thaw), and human impacts on the Earth. On October 10, 2003, a new crew arrived at the station, and the current crew—astronaut Ed Lu and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will return to Earth on October 27.
Astronaut photograph ISS006-E-46540 was taken from the International Space Station on April 18, 2003 with a Kodak DCS760 digital camera. The International Space Station Program supports the Earth Observation Laboratory to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.