Agricultural fields in Sumatra
Sumatra (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)

Astronaut Scott Kelly isn't even halfway through his ambitious "Year in Space" mission, but he's wasted no time wowing his millions of Twitter followers with his breathtaking #EarthArt photo series.

Perched above the Earth's surface in the International Space Station, Kelly gets a front row seat to the surreal grandeur of the planet, and luckily for us, he's sharing his unique perspective with everyone on the ground.

Many of his aerial photos resemble abstract paintings or something that you might view under a microscope, and the comparisons underscore the beauty and vibrance of the planet's natural (and unnatural) landscapes.

Star-shaped sand dunes of Algeria
Star-shaped sand dunes of Algeria (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)

The purpose of Kelly's yearlong mission (twice as long as the typical U.S. mission) is to better understand how long-term exposure to the harsh environment of space affects the human body. NASA hopes this mission will provide insight into how to reduce risks for future astronauts engaged in missions beyond Earth's lower orbit, such as a journey to Mars.

Since Kelly's not slated to leave the ISS until March 2016, it's safe to say we'll be seeing a lot more gorgeous aerial imagery from him in the months to come. For exact coordinates for each photo (as well as the current position of the ISS), check out this interactive GPS map.

Continue below to see Earth like you've never seen it before, and be sure to follow all of Kelly's sky-high adventures on Twitter or Facebook.

Yucatan Shelf, Gulf of Mexico
Yucatan Shelf, Gulf of Mexico (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Sanquianga River, Colombia
Sanquianga River, Colombia (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Central Australian Outback
Central Australian Outback (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Rio Lagarta salt ponds
Rio Lagartos, salt ponds in the Yucatan. (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Rocas Atoll, Brazil
Rocas Atoll, Brazil (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Silky desert in Libya
Libya (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Crooked Island, Bahamas
Crooked Island, Bahamas (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Patagonia, Argentina
Patagonia, Argentina (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Moa, Cuba
Moa, Cuba (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Lake Natron, Tanzania
Lake Natron, Tanzania (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)
Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands (Photo: Scott Kelly/NASA)

Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.