This rare cloudless photo of the Scottish Highlands taken from space is stunning

An astronaut has captured a rare cloud-free photograph of the Scottish Highlands from the International Space Station.

The image, which was taken in February on a Nikon D5 digital camera, shows the breathtaking Scottish landscape in all its rugged beauty.

According to Nasa cloudy skies "are common for the region and typically prevent landscape photography from space, especially during the winter months".

Scottish Highlands.
(Nasa)

The photo shows the snow-capped mountains north of Glen Mor, a 62-mile valley running from Inverness to Fort William at the head of Loch Linnhe.

The landscape was shaped by geological forces some hundreds of millions of years ago.

Glen Mor is believed to house some of the oldest rocks in Europe and is a fault zone surrounded by many elongated lakes - one of which is Loch Ness.

According to Nasa, the rocky landscape of the Scottish Highlands also shows signs of reshaping by flowing glaciers during the most recent Ice Ages - from around 2.5 million years ago.

In 2016, US astronaut Jeff Williams managed to take photo of Scotland without clouds, which he also described as "very rare".

We had a great view of Scotland today...very rare to not be covered with clouds. pic.twitter.com/R31MXg2I1U

-- Jeff Williams (@Astro_Jeff) August 16, 2016

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