Monday, March 16, 2009

Discovery Is Go


Perhaps you heard there was a shuttle launch yesterday. Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off at 7:43 PM on it's way to the International Space Station, and I was there. It was about 15 minutes after sunset, so it was still pretty light out. But the light from that solid rocket fuel made everything else in the picture seem dark as night. Someday I'll get good at taking these pictures. I suspect that'll be right around the time they end the shuttle program.

I was well-enough prepared this time that I was able to slap on a shorter lens soon after take-off. So you get to see something other than a long tongue of flame behind an invisible shuttle.

I mentioned that the launch took place just after sunset. Not long into flight, the smoke plume entered the area where the suns' rays were still in the orange sunset color. Past that, the full illumination of the sun turned the trail a brilliant white, so it was quite possibly the most colorful shuttle launch ever.

This detail of the smoke trail in the area where the most color was shows the beautiful colors that are usually reserved for sunsets in some island nation you only ever get to visit once in your life.

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