Can you see the Great Wall from here? Oleg Artemyev/Roscosmos
There's a myth the Great Wall of China is the only human-built object visible from space. It can even be seen from the moon, according to the legend.
Cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos is pretty sure he photographed the epic structure from space, but that doesn't mean it's easy to spot from orbit.
Artemyev posted a photo of China as seen from the ISS on Sunday. "The @Space_Station flies over China. @Astro_Alex and I think that in this photo we can see the Great Wall of China. I've been looking for it for a long time!" he wrote.
Artemyev references his International Space Station crewmate Alexander Gerst, a European Space Agency astronaut. They both think they can see the wall in the image, though it's hard to tell which of the many lines across the landscape it might be.
If the Great Wall is indeed in the image, then the ISS crew can see it from space, though they spotted it with the help of a camera.
NASA says the wall generally isn't visible to the unaided eye from low Earth orbit. Though the wall spans thousands of miles, it isn't very wide.
"In fact, it is very, very difficult to distinguish the Great Wall of China in astronaut photography, because the materials that were used in the wall are similar in color and texture to the materials of the land surrounding the wall -- the dirt," NASA scientist Kamlesh Lulla said in 2005.
And how about the claim that you can see the Great Wall from the moon? Not a chance. Astronauts who visited our lunar neighbor said no man-made objects on Earth are visible from that distance at all.
See one astronaut's wild pictures from space
Come step into Jack Fischer's world of space awesomeness. The NASA astronaut first floated onto the International Space Station in April to start a four-month mission and he's been sending incredible images and messages back to Earth ever since.
Fischer got caught up in a "wicked-cool, space-suit-traffic-jam" in this photo from July 2017. Fischer was moving the suits around when he found himself surrounded by the bulky equipment. His smile shows he didn't mind the predicament.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer snapped this stunner and shared it with space fans on Aug. 2, 2017. "Sometimes you look out the window and it just takes your breath away from how beautiful Earth is. Today is one of those times," he wrote on Twitter.
Jack Fischer snapped this image of an elongated island in May, describing it as looking like the bulbous tip of E.T.'s magic finger, a reference to the 1982 Steven Spielberg blockbuster "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."
Yes, astronauts enjoy dessert while in orbit. NASA's Jack Fischer shows off his sweet creation that combines chocolate pudding cake with vanilla pudding, strawberries and candy in this photo from May 2017. He calls it a BMOY, "Bitesize Mountain of Yumiosity."
Earth is a colorful place. Astronaut Jack Fischer took this photo in July 2017 and likened the shapes to a watercolor tray. "The Earth surprises me with its beauty every day," he wrote on Twitter.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer tries out a yoga pose with the help of microgravity on board the International Space Station in July 2017.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer loves to take photos from his vantage point aboard the International Space Station and then apply his imagination to the Earth shapes he sees. Fischer described this one, taken in late May 2017, as looking like a skunk or a honey badger.
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer shared this view from his "corner office" on board the International Space Station in June 2017.
ISS astronaut Jack Fischer sees a face outline in this space view of Mount St. Helens, an active volcano in Washington state in the US that famously erupted in 1980. Fischer snapped the photo in early July 2017.
NASA's Jack Fischer has a track record of capturing stunning photos of space happenings to go along with his fabulous Earth images. This photo from early July 2017 shows the launch of a micro-satellite from the International Space Station.
Astronaut Jack Fischer looked out at Earth in July 2017 and caught sight of this glowing green aurora. He posted the image to Twitter, saying it "slathers up the sky in awesome sauce."
Mount Vesuvius caught fire in mid-July 2017 when a series of wildfires broke out around the famous Italian volcano. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer got an eyeful of the fires from the International Space Station. He offered a prayer for the firefighters working to combat the blazes.
This colorful view of formations on Earth reminded astronaut Jack Fischer of a series of footsteps. Fischer's "#EarthShapes" social-media hashtag is dedicated to views of our planet as seen from far above on the space station. The photo comes from July 2017.
This river isn't actually on fire, but the light is hitting is just right to make it glow when seen from space. Astronaut Jack Fischer snapped this photo in early August 2017 and shared it on social media.
Typhoon Noru spreads across the frame in astronaut Jack Fischer's photo from August 1, 2017.