Undertoad Sunday Jul 24 04:41 PM
July 25, 2011: Final shuttle return to Earth
sexobon Sunday Jul 24 05:00 PM
Are you sure that's not just sunlight reflecting off a hair on the window?
ogwen69 Sunday Jul 24 06:51 PM
This wins IOTD.
classicman Sunday Jul 24 07:30 PM
That pic is teh Awesome!
Wombat Sunday Jul 24 11:19 PM
I didn't realise it went into such a steep dive!
ZenGum Monday Jul 25 04:50 AM
SPUCK Monday Jul 25 06:24 AM
That was my first thought too. But. The shuttle isn't running engines that you'd see as yellow that high out on the climb. Also it's not really that steep. It's a shot that's massively foreshortened because it's taken sort of from behind the descending shuttle.
ZenGum Monday Jul 25 07:31 AM
Mmmmmyeahhhhh ... second thoughts ...
Gravdigr Monday Jul 25 08:25 AM
Well that's fairly fucking awesome.
CaliforniaMama Monday Jul 25 09:46 AM
I always suspected we lived in a dome and this proves it.
CaliforniaMama Monday Jul 25 09:48 AM
I was going to say "I wonder how they took that picture?" but I was a good girl and looked up the answer for myself.
CaliforniaMama Monday Jul 25 09:50 AM
I can't believe there is no more space program! How can they do this? Shouldn't space exploration be a priority?
glatt Monday Jul 25 10:11 AM
As far as the space station goes, it's all up to the Russians now. We are going to ask them for rides up there and back.
BigV Monday Jul 25 10:31 AM
BigV Monday Jul 25 10:59 AM
I think it's the shuttle at the beginning of its re-entry into the atmosphere, not a rocket launching.
It makes a vapor trail where there's atmosphere and water to make the vapor, this happens in other places where there isn't a rocket launch. A jet airliner makes a vapor trail, a contrail, a condensation trail, right?
Next two points together please.
The earth is very nearly a perfect sphere. A single orbit is very nearly a perfect circle. Now, imagine this. Take a circle, a large disk would be helpful. If you look at the disk from a low oblique angle, the edge of the disk makes a curve that looks like a parabola, just like in the picture. When you see a bicycle wheel, in a picture or an illustration, it's almost never a circle, it's an ellipse, right? You're looking at a section of the circular path the shuttle's making from *above* and slightly to the left of the shuttle, over it's left shoulder kind of. The shuttle is moving away from the photographer in the ISS.
It is getting brighter at the "end" of the track because the atmosphere is denser as it continues to descend, more water, more vapor, more trail.
Does this help?
glatt Monday Jul 25 11:12 AM
It's interesting to me that the stars are visible in the shot and so is the strong blue color of the oceans. Is it daylight? Is it dusk? You would think that for the stars to have the proper exposure, the Earth would be completely washed out. There is a bit of motion blurring in the clouds, so it's a fairly long exposure. Possibly a couple seconds long. I don't really understand this photograph.
Spexxvet Monday Jul 25 11:52 AM
Pete Zicato Thursday Jul 28 06:12 PM
infinite monkey Thursday Jul 28 06:26 PM
Griff Saturday Jul 30 10:57 AM
ZenGum Saturday Jul 30 08:28 PM
According to this privateers are just about ready to begin visiting the space station:
glatt Saturday Jul 30 08:39 PM
I saw that space craft!
SPUCK Sunday Jul 31 05:54 AM