A nighttime view of Istanbul, Turkey is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 32 crew member on the International Space Station. Most of Istanbul's Asian suburbs (right) appear in this night view from the space station, but only about half the area of the city on the European side (left) can be seen.
The margins of the metropolitan area are clearly visible at night, more so than in daylight images. The Bosporus strait (also spelled Bosphorus) (center left) famously separates the two halves of the city, and links the small Sea of Marmara (and the Mediterranean Sea to its south) to the Black Sea (indistinguishable in this night view, top right). The strait is 31 kilometers long, most of which is visible in this view. The Bosporus is a very busy waterway, with larger ships passing to and from the Black Sea competing with numerous ferries that cross between the two halves of the city. Apart from the dark Sea of Marmara (lower margin of the image), the other large dark areas are all wooded hills which provide open spaces for the densely populated city of Istanbul -- one of the largest in Europe with 13.5 million inhabitants.
The old city occupies the prominent point at the entrance to the strait. Major traffic arteries are the brighter lines crossing the metropolitan area, and also mark all the shorelines. The First Bosporus Bridge and Second Bridge (also known as the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge) can be seen spanning the strait. The brilliant lights of both international airports serving the region also stand out at lower left and lower right. ISS032-E-017547 (9 Aug. 2012) - high res (1.4 M) low res (75 K)