If you want to up your Instagram game in 2017, perhaps you should consider living in space.

Because these pictures of Earth taken from the International Space Station this year are absolutely stunning.

[Read more: Look at all the incredible stuff Nasa did in 2017]

Here’s a closer look at some of the amazing images.

New York

City lights in the Northeastern US (Nasa)
(JSC/Nasa)

This image, taken by the Expedition 50 crew back in January, captures New York, the city that never sleeps, lit up at night.

A chess board landscape in Idaho

Checkerboard pattern along the Priest River in northern Idaho (Nasa)
(Nasa)

The white squares of the chess board are snow sitting on the ground where forest has been chopped down. The darker squares are where the forest remains. It’s the result of an arrangement from the 19th century which saw one-square-mile sections of land given away by the government. The remaining sections of forest are now designated reserves.

Solar evaporation ponds in Utah

Solar evaporation ponds outside the city of Moab, Utah. There are 23 colourful ponds spread across 400 acres. They are part of a large operation to mine potassium chloride (Nasa)
Solar evaporation ponds outside the city of Moab, Utah. There are 23 colourful ponds spread across 400 acres. They are part of a large operation to mine potassium chloride (Nasa)

These ponds in Utah are part of an operation to mine potassium chloride, which is used for fertiliser. The different colours are because of a blue dye that is used in the ponds as part of the extraction process. The darker the blue, the deeper the pond is. The picture shows some ponds have nearly evaporated completely – these are the light, tan-coloured sections.

Meidob Volcanic Field in Sudan

. The entire field covers an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometres (approximately 1,930 square miles) of western Sudan (Nasa)
(Nasa)

This alien volcanic landscape covers around 1,930 square miles in western Sudan.

Hurricane Jose

Hurricane Jose taken from the ISS (Nasa)
(Nasa)

Images from the ISS can also capture the devastation of nature. Hurricane Jose hit its peak recorded wind speed of 155mph when this image was taken, as the storm’s eye barely missed Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles.

The city lights of north-western Europe

London and Paris among the cities seen in this night-time shot of north-western Europe
(Nasa)

This picture shows the recognisable outline of Ireland, the UK and north-west Europe at night.

Sunrise over the Philippine Sea

 partial disc of the sun just as it began to rise, creating a sheet of light across the horizon. Silhouetted clouds give the sense of a jumbled mountain range. (Nasa)
(Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Centre/Nasa)

This may look like a mountain range, but the dark shapes are actually silhouetted clouds over the Philippine Sea.

Mount Etna erupting

The volcanic plume from Mount Etna (Nasa)
(Nasa)

Unlike the volcanic landscape of Sudan, Sicily’s Mount Etna is still very much active. This image shows how an eruption looks from space.

Aurora Borealis over Canada

Northern Lights over Canada
(Nasa)

Forget a weekend break to Iceland – if you really want a great view of the Aurora Borealis head to the ISS.

[Read more: Explore the solar system using Google Maps]