NASA photo contest: Turkish lake vs stars in the sky

In the battle between the best photos taken by astronauts, the showdown came down to a unique Turkish lake versus stars in the heavens.

The photos, taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), are in the final of a special NASA contest.

The Tournament Earth competition, which kicked off on March 8, features more than two decades of snapshots by spacewalkers.

The last photos standing in the final include a 2012 composite of stars in motion over the Americas, shot by astronaut Don Pettit, and an alkaline lake in eastern Turkey - Lake Van - captured in 2016 by astronaut Kate Rubins, according to NASA's online Earth Observatory.

"In the semifinals, the photo of Lake Van took 94 percent of the vote against the Castellanus cloud tower," said the website, referring to the previous round, adding that an image of stars and earthly lights in motion also beat its rival to make it to the final.

The pictures, showing unique views of the planet, were gathered in four groups - Unity, Cupola, Destiny and Tranquility - based on four modules of the space station.

The photo Stars in Motion by Pettit was in the Unity bracket, while Lake Van was in the Tranquility bracket.

Voters have until April 12 at noon US Eastern Time (1600GMT) to choose their favorite picture at

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