Just because astronauts are busy working on the International Space Station doesn't mean they're immune from wanting to engage in a few typical tourist activities. Like snapping breathtaking photos of Earth landmarks.
The Expedition 39 crew aboard the ISS took a photo of the Grand Canyon in late March using a Nikon D3S digital camera with a 180mm lens. The darker areas to the top and bottom of the canyon are forested plateaus. The image was doctored up just a little to improve the contrast and remove lens artifacts.
It's quite a top-down look at the Grand Canyon, carved out by the Colorado River, and its side canyons, a viewpoint that's hard to fathom when you're on the ground looking at the beast in person.
There are at least a couple of ways to think about this image. You might pondre how taking the photo from so far above the Earth reduces the Grand Canyon to a rivulet in the dirt, reminding us how small our little place in the universe is. On the other hand, it's such a massive natural wonder that it can be seen from space and photographed so clearly in all its glory. Perhaps the image encompasses a bit of both perspectives.
For a closer-in look at the Grand Canyon, check out thethat lets you ride down the Colorado River. Put the two together and you get a pretty complete picture of the Grand Canyon without ever having to get up out of your chair.