May 18, 2010

So THAT'S what the sun looks like.

I wouldn't know. The weather's been very weird 'round these here parts.

Not to mention the ginormous migraine that I like to call the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill Clusterfrench is giving me high blood pressure.

So I need calm down and focus on something beautiful and awe-inspiring. Like this:

The big yellow thing is the Sun. But look at the upper right section. See those two dark blips? The one on the left is the Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis and on the right is the International Space Station! Incredibly, Thierry caught them as they passed directly in front of the Sun! To give you an idea of how talented Thierry is, the entire transit lasted just over half a second.

... Mind you, Atlantis had just started its pitch maneuver, designed to show its belly to the crew on the ISS so they can inspect it for heat tile damage. That means this image was taken shortly before the Orbiter docked with the station, on May 16th. Thierry was in Madrid specifically to get this shot.

Get a good look. This is the last mission of Atlantis (unless it’s needed as a rescue mission later this year), so we won’t get too many more views like this.

Aaaah. I feel better now.


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