The US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) shared the photograph -- ISS045-E-27869 -- on its Facebook page on Sunday. An astronaut aboard the ISS took the nighttime panorama while looking north across Pakistan's Indus river valley.

The winding border between Pakistan and India can be seen lit by security lights that have a distinct orange tone. It also shows Pakistan's port city of Karachi as a bright cluster of lights facing the Arabian Sea, which appears completely black.

City lights and the dark colour of dense agriculture closely track with the great curves of the Indus valley.

This astronaut photograph, acquired on September 23 this year with a Nikon D4 digital camera, was provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center, Houston.

Another night image acquired in 2011 shows the India-Pakistan border zone looking southeast from the Himalaya.

In the photograph, clusters of yellow lights on the Indo-Gangetic plain reveal numerous cities large and small in northern India and northern Pakistan.


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