Monday, April 5, 2010

up, up, and away

This was my view of the shuttle launch this morning. The sky was clear and gave a spectacular view. So many of the times the view of the shuttle is obscured by clouds. In the picture, the shuttle and its trail looks like a large meteor streaking through the earths atmosphere. The light colored specks in the picture aren’t stars, they are probably just spurious signals from the CCD (charged couples device) in my camera which is the equivalent of film in a regular camera.

This picture shows the contrail fairly nicely. The contrail was illuminated by the rising sun and it had a rainbow of colors to it just like in the picture. The bright spot to the left in the picture is the shuttle. Why there is not any contrail in the middle, I don’t know. It seemed odd to me. I know that it was just an optical illusion, but it looked as if the shuttle was going in a big arc. About five minutes after I started watching the trail in the sky, there was a loud rumble of noise which was the roar of the shuttle engines. It is amazing that they can be heard at this distance from the Kennedy Space Center launch complex. Just prior to the launch, I was watching the pre-launch preparations on television. They said that the space station would be passing directly over the Kennedy Space Center in a few minutes and if you looked up you could see it pass. I hurried outdoors and looked straight up and within a minute or so, there went the space station overhead heading generally from the west to the east. It was very bright which was probably caused by the sunlight of the rising sun reflecting off of it.

Of course, as with all of the shuttle launches, Tammy the cat keeps me company. Here she is sitting on a tree stump watching me take the pictures of the launch. A good cat. Have a nice day and I hope that everyone reading this blog had the opportunity to enjoy the shuttle launch. Take care. Lew

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