That’s the first quarter moon behind The SpaceX Dragon Endeavour crew ship approaching the International Space Station orbiting 259 miles above the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco. The picture was made on 9 April less than a day after the first private crew launch to the ISS.
This video was captured at 1500 frames/s by an observer in Wyoming yesterday. If you look closely, you’ll see the International Space Station move out of the Moon’s shadow around 3 o’clock and move across the Sun and exit around 8 o’clock.
This video was taken on 10 August, 2016, with a high-resolution video camera onboard the International Space Station. Within the span of about 10 seconds beginning about 7 seconds into the video, two meteors associated with the Perseid meteor shower streak across the sky above Pakistan.
Two of the missions that I worked on for NASA do X-ray/gamma ray astronomy. Swift detects sources of gamma ray bursts and Astro-H will have an X-ray spectrometer. It turns out that the Earth generates its own gamma ray flashes through natural means.
The terminator, that is, the line between day and night, on the airless moons pictured here from time to time, is a firm line. No such sharp boundary marks the boundary between day and night in this picture of ocean and clouds on Earth. Instead, the shadow line is diffuse and shows the gradual transition to darkness as twilight falls. The Sun illuminates the scene from the right, and the cloud tops reflect gently reddened sunlight filtered through the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere. The upper atmosphere scatters blue sunlight and fades into the blackness of space.
This picture actually was taken in June, 2001, from the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of 390 km.
A Soyuz TMA-05M descent module begins to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, leaving a plasma trail as it streaks toward a pre-dawn landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan. The picture was taken from above by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station.
Folks on Earth watched last year’s Perseid meteor shower by looking up into the bright moonlit night sky. But this remarkable view was captured on 13 August 13 of last year by Ron Garan looking down on a Perseid meteor. Garan was onboard the International Space Station orbiting at an altitude of about 380 km while the Perseid meteors streaked below. The glowing dust grains left over from comet Swift-Tuttle are traveling at about 60 km/s through the atmosphere around 100 km above the surface of the Earth’s. The foreshortened meteor flash is just right of the center of the picture—below the curving limb of the Earth and a layer of greenish airglow.
This year’s Perseid shower should peak this weekend. Given a clear sky, viewing should be better than last year with less interference from a waning crescent Moon rising a few hours before the Sun.
BTW, the white speck between the green airglow and the earth’s limb near the meteor trail isn’t dust on your screen. It’s the star Arcturus.