Astronaut Scott Kelly just broke the record for the longest US single spaceflight, and the pictures he’s taken along the way are incredible

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Scott Kelly via Instagram

Astronaut Scott Kelly now officially holds the record for the longest US single spaceflight, surpassing Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria’s record of 215 days.

And here at Business Insider, we can’t get enough of Astronaut Scott Kelly’s Instagram account.

Right before Kelly took off for his year in space, President Obama told him, “Good luck Captain. Make sure to Instagram it.”

So in celebration of his most recent milestone, here are some of the best shots from his time in space.


Here’s Kelly’s first stunning shot of Earth from space, taken 27 weeks ago.


His photos are filled with striking colors, from neon greens …

Hopefully this is pollen or algae and not something man made. #YearInSpace #earth #space #ISS #photo

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on


… to vibrant yellow. Unfortunately, Kelly used to not include where these photos were taken, leaving his Instagram audience to guess.

#EarthArt. This shade of yellow is a rare sight. #YearInSpace #yellow #earth #art #iss #spacestation #space #photo

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on


But lately he’s been getting much better, labeling his shots with hashtags to share its location, like this leaf-like picture over the #Sahara desert.

#EarthArt Across the greatest desert – #Sahara. #YearInSpace #desert #earth #art #space #iss #spacestation

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on


And this one over South America, which looks like something straight out of a kaleidescope.

#EarthArt #SouthAmerica #YearInSpace

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on


Kelly has also been good at documenting huge natural disasters, like Hurricane Patricia, which reached winds up to 200 mph before making landfall.


His perspective living up on the International Space Station makes for some one-of-a-kind shots, like this one of a desert lake. Kelly remarks that the reflection from the cloud makes it look as if this lake is actually filled with liquid metal.


While he’s up there, Kelly is taking part in studies to see what happens to the human body while it’s out in space for a year, along with Kelly’s twin, Mark, who’s on Earth for comparison.

#EarthArt The element of water adds interesting contrast. #YearInSpace #water #earth #art #space #photo

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on

Learn more about the twin study.


Kelly labels the photos with the hashtag #EarthArt. It’s easy to see why.


Kelly captures other amazing phenomenon, like these Northern Lights as seen with Chicago in the foreground.

#Aurora and all that jazz over #Chicago city lights. #YearInSpace #space #spacestation #iss #NorthernLights #photo

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on


Kelly recently made it past the halfway point on his yearlong tour in the ISS, which he celebrated with this Instagram selfie.


Kelly edged past US astronaut Mike Fincke’s record of 382 cumulative days in space on October 16. Kelly passed another milestone for the most time consecutively spent in space by a US astronaut on October 29.


Earlier in October, Kelly took to setting up photo series based on certain locations that showcase the wide variety in colors and textures in those areas. Here’s his first in a series on the Australian continent.


This one, also in the series of the Australian continent, looks more like an abstract work of art than an actual place here on Earth.


Seriously. How are these photos real?!


Kelly’s also started a series on industrialized China, highlighting different factory areas in the country. So far, he’s shared five of his 10 pictures.

#EarthArt One pass over industrialized #China. 1 of 10. #YearInSpace #earth #space #photo #spacestation #iss

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on


Kelly won’t return back to Earth until March 2016, giving him plenty more time to take photos, like this one of China that’s part of a larger series.

#EarthArt One pass over industrialized #China 2 of 10. #YearInSpace #earth #art #space #photo #spacestation #iss

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on


We’ll keep watching along for more mesmerizing photos.

#GoodNight to day 201 from @ISS! Thanks for following along on my #YearInSpace #space #sunset #spacestation #iss

A post shared by Scott Kelly (@stationcdrkelly) on