Last week, January 13th to be exact, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was tweeting live photos of British Columbia from the International Space Station.

A few from the West Coast. Here’s Victoria, BC. Have tea at the Empress and take time to walk through Butchart Gardens.

Victoria_ChrisHadfield

The first shot of Vancouver, BC, where the Fraser flows into the sea. A beautiful city.”

HadfieldSpace2

A clearer view of Vancouver on a sunny day – can clearly see the ferry terminal, airport and many boats in the Inlet.”

HadfieldSpace

How amazing is that?

There’s Vancouver with downtown and Stanley Park. You can see Pacific Spirit Park’s forest, as well as Burns Bog  in Delta quite prominently. Richmond, my home city, sitting on Lulu Island at the mouth of the Fraser and the eastern agricultural lands clearly visible. If you know where to look, you can see Broadway, and Oak Street, and the TransCanada/Hwy 1 and even I-5 through Washington state. The airport is there, so is the Iona pipeline… and the Roberts Banks port next to the smaller Tsawwassen ferry terminal.

It’s amazing what you can see from space.

Perhaps in this era of Google Earth, a view of the world from space isn’t especially poignant.

But take a second look.

When you take the time to think of what’s actually happening RIGHT NOW, that there’s an astronaut – a Canadian from Sarnia, a Royal Roads University grad – who’s up in space, THIS SECOND – and he’s taking pictures OF US and he’s sending us those pictures LIVE FROM SPACE through Twitter! That it’s not a satellite, that there’s a human being, a Canadian, a thoughtful, articulate man connecting with us through the internet…

…that’s when the awe and wonder of childhood reawakens.

I, and 241,476+ others have discovered this phenomenon, and it feels like we’re all kids at Christmas, awaiting a visit from Santa Claus. There’s a youthful excitement that’s taken over as we collectively follow the soon-to-be 35th Commander (and the first Canadian Commander) of the ISS while he tweets updates and photos real-time.

In fact, I’ve felt inspired to track the ISS, to wake up at some ungodly hour to see it with my own eyes.

Speaking of which, earlier this week a man from Saskatchewan who self-identifies as an “ice road trucker” did just that and tweeted his own photo back to the ISS.

@Cmdr_Hadfield just stopped my semi to watch you fly by over Saskatchewan. That was incredibly cool.

ISS

 

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. Better yet, Chris took notice, and wrote back.

 

 

iceroadtrucker

 

 

yako

 

It doesn’t get much better than that.

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