French astronaut Thomas Pesquet shares stunning pictures of Earth

French Astronaut Thomas Pesquet returned to Earth after a six month journey in space this week -- but it's the images he captured of the planet during his time that made him a social media star.

An avid photographer, Pesquet snapped hundreds of pictures and even a few time-lapse videos during his space mission on the International Space Station and began sharing them social media, earning more than 400,000 Instagram followers.

While some of his images revealed the lighter moments of life in space, including crew selfies and even a haircut, his shots of Earth generated even more buzz. His unique perspective miles above the planet -- and serious photography equipment -- allowed him to capture epic mountains and stunning cityscapes.

In one instance, he captured the beauty of ocean waves from afar.

"Waves are majestic, both up close and from space. As I watch them from here, I can just about imagine the sound of water hitting the shore. If you look close enough, you will see a ship facing the wrath of ocean," he wrote in the Instagram post.

Click through the gallery below to see some of his most stunning photos:

He captured a slew of magnificent aurora shots as well, saying he could barely bring himself to look away from the windows.

His captions provided even more context about the beauty that can come while living in space, where sunrises and sunsets are wildly different from what we see on Earth.

"Flying towards the sunrise is always magical: the feeling of speed, the earth rotating below and the International Space Station humming in the darkness, and then a burst of light," he wrote.