Picture of the Day: A Silhouette on Earth’s Horizon
A SILHOUETTE ON EARTH’S HORIZON
Though astronauts and cosmonauts often encounter striking scenes of Earth’s limb, this unique image, part of a series over Earth’s colourful horizon, has the added feature of a silhouette of the space shuttle Endeavour (now retired and on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California).
The image was photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member prior to STS-130 rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station. Docking occurred at 11:06 p.m. (CST) on Feb. 9, 2010. The orbital outpost was at 46.9 south latitude and 80.5 west longitude, over the South Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern Chile, with an altitude of 183 nautical miles when the image was recorded.
The orange layer is the troposphere, where all of the weather and clouds which we typically watch and experience are generated and contained. This orange layer gives way to the whitish Stratosphere and then into the Mesosphere. In some frames the black colour is part of a window frame rather than the blackness of space. [Source]