LAKE TAHOE - Turns out one of the best views of Lake Tahoe isn't actually at Lake Tahoe.Case in point: Astronaut Thomas Marshburn's recent shot of the Jewel of the Sierra from the International Space Station.The shot captures the full length of the lake, as well as the snow-capped peaks of Desolation Wilderness. The Tahoe Keys, Fallen Leaf Lake and a frozen Cascade Lake are each clearly visible from more than 200 miles up.Marshburn tweeted the photograph Jan. 20 with a sentiment that typically echoes much closer to home: "Hey Tahoe - how's the skiing?"The 52-year-old North Carolina native arrived at the space station in late December and is expected to be on board until May, NASA spokeswoman Rachel Kraft said."He is living, working and researching aboard the International Space Station," Kraft said.The current expedition is studying wide-ranging topics including biology, physiology, earth sciences and how humans adapt to space, according to Kraft.The views from the space station may be getting more attention than the science.Marshburn is a backpacker, mountain climber and snowboarder who has at least some knowledge of the Lake Tahoe Basin. He hiked many of the same peaks he photographed from space while on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in 1980, according to a profile by the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.In an interview on NASA's website, Marshburn said finding your hometown from space is a pastime of space station astronauts."You have to plan it out ahead of time, you hope there are no clouds and then if there's a break in the work you go over to the window and take a look," Marshburn said.
Follow Thomas Marshburn on Twitter: @AstroMarshburnPhotos of Lake Tahoe from space from the U.S. Geological Survey: http://tahoe.usgs.gov/nasa.htmlMore astronaut photos of earth: http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov