Astronaut Sergey Ryazansky captured from ISS the European Alps. The image shows city lights of northern Italy at night.

Credit: Sergey Ryazansky, Roscosmos

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately 1,200km across eight Alpine countries. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. The Alpine region has a strong cultural identity, and the traditional culture of farming, cheesemaking, and woodworking still exists in Alpine villages.

The local scenery on the ground is as follows.


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