Stunning pic of Endeavour's last spacedock

Stunning pic of Endeavour's last spacedock

Stunning pic of Endeavour's last spacedock

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 31 2011 6:43 AM

Stunning pic of Endeavour's last spacedock

NASA just released this breath-taking picture of the Orbiter Endeavour, taken on May 28th, just a day before it undocked from the International Space Station and began to make its way to Earth:

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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Incredible. The exposure time was long enough to show city lights streaking under the station, and I suspect tracked on the stars long enough to make them clear and obvious. I can't identify the stars, but I think the southern dark nebula the Coal Sack can be seen on the left just above the limb of the Earth. I have no idea what cities we're seeing here -- don't get me started! -- but all together the elements here are simply and literally other worldly.

Endeavour is due to land on June 1st at 02:32 EDT (06:32 UTC).

Image credit: NASA

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[UPDATE: Right after I posted this, NASA put up another incredible image of the Orbiter against the starry background. Amazing!]



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