Astronaut Scott Kelly, who has spent a year in the space, said that the level of pollution in China and India is shocking. He took the photograph in the summer of 2015.
"Seeing places like China and India, and the pollution that exists there almost all the time is quite shocking," Kelly said in a brief media appearance with US President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House.
"There was one day last summer, the summer of 2015, when I was in space I saw the eastern side of China was perfectly clear. And I'd never seen that before in all of my time in space, and I'd spent well over a year in space," he said.
"I could see all these cities that are - there's like over 200 cities in that part of China, with over a million people. And it was at dusk, and I could just, for the very first time, I was able to see them, and it was quite shocking," he added.
"I didn't really understand it until the next day I heard that the Chinese government had turned off a lot of the coal-producing power plants, stopped the cars from running in that part of the country for a national holiday, and the sky had completely cleared," Kelly said.
"So it's interesting to see just how much of a negative impact we have on the environment, but also how quickly we can have a positive impact on it if we decide not to mention the atmosphere is very, very thin and scary-looking when you see it from space," he said.