Twitter: out of this world

This is what Toronto looks like from space.

Astronaut Chris Hadfield, currently serving a five-month tour of duty aboard the International Space Station, has been tweeting pictures of Earth from space. He’s photographed much of Canada, including many Ontario cities. As a result of his photographic skills, he’s become increasingly popular on Twitter, accumulating around 250,000 followers – soon to surpass Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He’s also had Twitter conversations with fellow space traveller – if only in our imaginations – William Shatner of Star Trek.

Social media has become a big part of how celebrities interact with the world. Look at (if you must) Justin Bieber, one of the most popular presences on Twitter, or his Twitterverse rival Lady Gaga. Astronauts have been keeping up with the trend: the first live tweets from space were sent in 2010, and the interaction has only increased since then.

Gone are the days where the only way to talk to an astronaut was via scratchy radio transmissions. Now astronauts live-chat with students via webcam. Hadfield has only gone further: he’s become the first to record music in space. Check out his song, “Jewel of the Night,” on YouTube.

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