That, my friends, is the Nile delta as seen by the International Space Station on October 28. The station was well south of that area, about 800 km (500 miles) south if I’ve done the math correctly. In this oblique view facing north, you can see Cairo at the neck of the delta, the city lights blaring. The Mediterranean Sea dominates the northern (top) part of the picture, with Cyprus glowing above and to the right of the mighty river. Off to the right you can also see Tel Aviv in Israel and Amman in Jordan. The glowing arc at the top is airglow, caused when molecules disrupted by ultraviolet light from the Sun during the day recombine. It’s a thin layer you’re seeing here edge-on, so it looks like an arc of light.
via Discover Magazine.