A NASA contest for the next five weeks is looking for the best photographs of the Earth taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station

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NASA's out-of-this-world photo contest gazes top shots

A NASA contest for the next five weeks is looking for the best photographs of the Earth taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

The Tournament Earth competition was kicked off by the agency’s Earth Observatory and features images from more than 20 years of snapshots by spacewalkers.

The unique views of the planet in all of its wonder, beauty and ferocity are open for star-gazers to vote on in round 1 that ends at noon on March 15 US Eastern Time (1700 GMT).

The pictures are gathered in four groups — Unity, Cupola, Destiny and Tranquility — based on four key modules of the ISS.

The Unity and Cupola groups include images that were chosen by astronauts Randy Bresnik, Chris Cassidy, Drew Morgan, Don Petit and Jeff Williams, and by the Earth Science and Remote Sensing team that trains and supports the astronauts.

Photographs in the Destiny and Tranquility groups were chosen by public viewers.

Voters can choose 16 of 32 photographs and submit a ballot for further consideration.

The Earth Observatory’s mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about the environment, Earth systems and climate that emerge from NASA research, including satellite missions, in-the-field research and models, according to its website.

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