Growth5 Blog

Monday, May 18, 2009

Space Shuttle Crosses the Sun

In the 0.8 seconds the Space Shuttle Atlantis took to cross the sun, French astrophotographer Thierry Legault snapped this picture using a solar-filtered Takahashi 5-inch refracting telescope and a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera.

The shuttle is 121 feet long and has a 29 foot wingspan. It was traveling 17,500 mph at 350 miles above the Earth's surface. The sun is 91 million miles away.

The following photo was taken on May 12.

The next day Legault got a stunning shot of the two spacecraft together, right before Atlantis reached out to grab Hubble in a mission to replace one of Hubble's cameras.

Image credit: Thierry Legault, via NASA

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