Astronaut Takes the Saddest Photo Ever of Explosions & Rockets Flying Over Gaza & Israel


Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have shared some incredible space photos with the Twitterverse – from aerial views of Southern Lights to even out-of-this-world selfies.

But this week, European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst shared what he called his “saddest photo yet” – an image snapped above the Middle East. On Twitter, the German-born astronaut explained that the photo shows explosions and rocket fire over Gaza and Israel – where there has been bloody conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants.


(above: Alexander Gerst, astronaut and photographer of “my saddest photo yet”)

The landmass in the photo appears to show a sideways view of Israel. As reported, north is to the right in the photo and south to the left; so the dark area at the top is the Mediterranean Sea and the brightest spot on the coast is Tel Aviv, which is just 44 miles north of Gaza City.

According to Gerst’s blog:

On the day that I took this photo, I floated into the Cupola window module because I suddenly noticed something that I had never seen before. There were streaks of light going forth and back over a dark Earth, occasionally lit up by orange fireballs. I took my camera and took a few photos before I finally realized what I just saw, and where we just flew past. Even though the photo itself does not contain any explosions, I could see them occur several times.

Conflict in the territory escalated this month after Israel launched a ground offensive to curb rocket fire from Hamas and its allies. The death toll in Gaza – where many civilians and children have been killed in the crossfire – hit 687 this week, according to The Associated Press.


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  1. Oh, let’s all have a pity party for the poor oppwessed widdle Pawestinians, who are just trying to live peaceful, productive lives…oh, and as is INSCRIBED IN THEIR CHARTER, trying to wipe out the only outpost of civilization from Libya to India.
    If the muzzies laid down their arms, in half an hour there would be peace in the Middle East.
    If the Israelis laid down its arms, in half an hour there would be no more Israel. And for far too many on the Left, that would be a GOOD thing, right?

    1. If Israel is an “Outpost of Civilisation” I don’t want to be part of “civilisation”. I think that their establishment of what is in effect an apartheid regime between israeli’s and palestinians is unacceptable by any “civilised” modern thinkers (many modern thinkers support my views… look to Einstein or most theorists on city conflict). If anyone wants to see the hypocrisy of Israel’s current battles they only need to look back to the persecution of jews in Europe 60-70 years ago. @disqus_13dfOGe0Eh:disqus Your comment disgusts me…

      1. Yes, the truth can hurt. Calling Israel an “apartheid regime” is a lefty slander: Arabs in Israel live far better than their brethren in the surrounding countries….they get to enjoy little privileges (OF CIVILIZATION) like voting, for instance, but I don’t suppose that carries any weight with you.
        Appealing to “modern thinkers” is a completely invalid argument: many “modern thinkers” centuries ago were absolutely convinced the earth was flat.
        Comparing Israel’s legitimate efforts in the cause of its survival with the Holocaust is absolutely obscene, and I think you know it. What other country in the WORLD warns civilians that it’s going to eradicate military threats, and gives them ample time to get out of the way? They’ve got the moral high ground free and clear, pal, whether you like it or not.

        1. anyone should kick you out of your house and let you live in the front lawn.
          after that he should treat you pretty ok…isnt life fair…faggot

          and dont come with a retarded “i dont have a lawn” joke…

          1. Oooooh, looks like I got up SOMEONE’s nose.
            I appreciate your calm, reasoned, logical refutation of my argument. You’re almost as sane as the average Palestinian.

          2. Pajama Boy comes out of his mother’s basement to lecture me for using the word “legimate” — WHICH ISN’T A WORD — and then, to clinch the point that his IQ hovers around (let’s be generous) 50, drops the apostrophe from “you’re,” AND the period at the end of the sentence. Brilliant! I haven’t had so much fun in months. Keep posting, Mr. Palestinian Apologist; the more electronic drivel you put into print, the better I look.

        2. Yeah we are texting and leaving voicemails telling them to leave, but to where? If you take a look at the map they are surrounded by… the sea, a closed off Egypt and Israel. Right so get out of the way while we bomb your house so if you do manage to get out of the way with your life you will have nothing to come back to. Moral high ground? what is wrong with you? Stop talking left and right and political jargon this is humanity we should trying to protect not Israel or Palestine but human beings. If religions want to fight each other from Christianity, Judaism and Islam then let them do it. The less brain washed, book worshipping illogical people we have on the planet the better for everyone. I’m a humanist but if someone wants to die for a book or jesus or muhammed or Jim Jones go ahead your retarded.

      1. Proudly, sir.
        You DO know that in 1948, an entirely fair and feasible mechanism was in place for two states in the Middle East, Israel and a Palestinian entity, which the Palestinians hatefully rejected?
        You DO know that the Arab states surrounding Israel have cynically used Palestinian citizens as pawns for decades now?
        You DO know that during the umpteenth round of peace negotiations, Israel was ready to give Yassir Arab-Fat 90% of what he wanted, but since it didn’t involve Israel’s suicide, he rejected the deal?
        You DO know that before the Israelis left Gaza, they’d established several efficient, profitable greenhouses, which they turned over intact to the Palestinians? Rational, sane adults would’ve taken care to preserve them, use them to provide gainful employment to workers, and harnessd them to aid to the economic vitality of the community. The Palestinians utterly destroyed them: brilliant! If that gang of thugs is very, very lucky, 2,500 years from now, they’ll have the same maturity and capacity for self-government that Athenians had 2,500 years ago….but I wouldn’t count on it.

        1. Since you think you have the monopoly of what rational and what the truth is, do not have a minimum of respect for foreign cultures which you probably do not even understand and/or are scared of, and since you think it makes you look smarter to show the misspelled words of people, which are not sharing your opinion, i only have one last question:

          What is fair in establishing a state in someone elses country for people whose ancestors haven’t been living there for more then 1500 years, AND havent been expelled either by the people living there or by their ancestors?

          1. Tsk, tsk….ad hominem arguments, the true sign of a bankrupt intellect. I shouldn’t waste any time dealing with them, but I will:
            — I never said I had a monopoly on truth and rationality.
            — I’ve lived overseas for many years, traveled extensively, and married outside American culture. Guess that shows how scared/ignorant I am of foreign cultures.
            — Using correct spelling and punctuation does, in fact, make me smarter than those who don’t or can’t. Deal with it.

            As to your substantive point, such as it is, I suggest you google “Diaspora” and you might get some glimmer of understanding as to why Jews might possibly and rightfully consider Israel their home. And let’s not also forget that the Palestinians already have a home; it’s called Jordan.

          2. 1. “…ad hominem arguments, the true sign of a bankrupt intellect.” Dave Williams

            Argumentum ad hominem, is a general category of fallacies
            in which a claim or
            argument is rejected on the basis of some
            irrelevant fact about the author of or the
            person presenting the claim
            or argument.

            Since i think you just meant i got personal in order to devalue your statements:

            “You’re almost as sane as the average Palestinian.” Dave Williams
            “Pajama Boy comes out of his mother’s basement…” Dave Williams
            “…his IQ hovers around (let’s be generous) 50…” Dave Williams

            All presentation of missing linguistic niveau, which you collected so ambitiously.

            2. I never said that you said you have a monopoly on truth and rationality.

            3. Having an outlandish woman or having traveled around the world doesnt (doesn’t/
            does not) necessarily mean you are tolerant to foreign culture.

            4. “Using correct spelling and punctuation does, in fact make me smarter then those
            who don’t…” Dave Williams

            No, it depends on what result you want to achieve.

            “…or can’t” Dave Williams

            No, you dont (don’t/do not) necessarily have to be able to speak or write in english to
            make it possible to be smarter than you.
            (If you want to disprove this you better come with your definition of “being smart” first.)

            5. “As to your substantive point,…” Dave Williams

            One question, and you havent (haven’t/have not) been able to answer it yourself.

            6. Congratulations for your first comment without using capslock. Were (We’re/We are)
            making progress.

            XOXO Gossip Girl

          3. Mr. AiW, while I grant you that Dave’s arguments are aggressive and sarcastic, I don’t think saying that he thinks he has a monopoly on truth is accurate or a very good rebuttal; his debate style is obviously aggressive… While I accept your 1500 years argument about the validity of Israel’s settlement in the Middle East, both sides could argue that, in my eyes, without either side being correct. What I will say is that Israel has thus far conducted themselves more reasonably and rationally and humanely than any of the involved belligerents in that country’s history. If they have been appointed to a plot of land then they have sought only to roughly maintain their borders and their security, which is ultimately more than can be said of Israel’s neighbors…

    2. Having been to Israel and spoken to Israelis and foreign muslims there, it is very clear to me that foreign muslims DESIRE to immigrate to Israel because of the opportunity that exists for them there, whereas Israelis are devoid of any desire to relocate to neighboring states… therefore calling Israel an apartheid regime is ill-fitting. As for the rest of you, calling Dave a faggot or a retard or any other such name only detracts from your argument and diminishes your cause. Please disagree with people more appropriately and productively.

      1. Do you mean Palestinians when you say Muslim or do you think it doesn’t matter?
        Why do you spell all proper nouns, including Israel or Israelis with a capital letter, but when it comes to spelling Muslim you use the small m?

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