One of the Expedition 40 crew members aboard the International Space Station took the early evening photo of the entire Iberian Peninsula, showing Spain, Portugal, Andorra and part of France above.
A small part of Morocco can also be seen in the bottom part of the image.
Madrid, in the heart of Spain, shines brighter than all other cities on the peninsula, although Seville, Lisbon, Barcelona and Valencia also stand out among the sea of lights.
Although the southerly Spanish archipelago of the Canaries (two and a half hour flight from Madrid) do not appear in the shot, islanders can pride themselves on having won the Nasa Photo of the Year award for this fantastic image of the seven islands ‘swimming in the sea’.
Light pollution, a result of industrial civilization, may not be as harmful as other forms of human contamination but can still disrupt ecosystems and have an effect on our health.