NASA Spaceweather Update: Atlantis Transits the Sun Just Before Land

From: Andrew Johnson

Date: 2011-07-21 22:24:20

Attachments : Looks like NASA couldn’t resist the symbolism….…   LAST PICTURE OF ATLANTIS IN SPACE: This morning, space shuttle Atlantis landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, wrapping up the final mission of NASA’s space shuttle program. At 08:27:48 UT, just 21 minutes before the deorbit burn, astrophotographer Thierry Legault captured what might be the last picture of Atlantis in space–and it was a solar transit: Above: Space shuttle Atlantis (circled) and sunspot AR1254 Because Atlantis was passing over Europe in broad daylight, the only way to catch it would be in silhouette against the sun. “I traveled from my home in Paris, France, to Emden city, Germany, to put myself in the transit’s path,” says Legault. “Skies were cloudy, but fortunately the transit occurred in a clear gap. Its duration was only 0.9 seconds and Atlantis, from a distance of 566 km (350 miles), appeared on four images.” Readers, do you have a picture of Atlantis in space taken after 08:27:48 UT on July 21st? If so, submit your images here. more images: from Christopher Handler of Mt Lofty, South Australia, Australia; from Wim Filmalter of Riversdale, Western Cape Province, South Africa; from Rob Carew of Melbourne, Australia; from Rudie Loots of Somerset West, South Africa;from Mike C of Prairieville, LA;

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