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Gorgeous photo shows space station lit up from below and beyond

An astronaut aboard the International Space Station captures the craft reflecting an Earthly lightning strike in front of a cosmic backdrop.

Space may seem dark, but photons of light are flying all over the place at all times. They're resilient little buggers, traveling thousands of light-years across space and time, bringing us even the dim light of distant stars.

In the dazzling photo below shared Wednesday by astronaut Kjell Lindgren, we see those distant travelers illuminate a majestic Milky Way in the background of this shot of the International Space Station.

What really makes this photo special, though, is that at the same time those well-traveled specs of light were hitting the camera lens, a bright flash of lightning down on Earth can be seen reflected on one of the space station's solar collectors.

Now that is some effective back lighting. K. Lindgren/ESA

Hilariously, Lindgren's NASA bio lists one of his interests as "amateur astronomy."

Kjell, bro, don't sell yourself short. This looks like a pro space shot to me, especially when we consider that it was captured as the ISS flies above the Earth at a speed of almost 5 miles per second.