'In Orbit' –  Space Photos

NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel, STS-134 mission specialist, uses a still camera to photograph the topography of a point on Earth from a window in the Cupola of the International Space Station while space shuttle Endeavour remains docked with the station. Photo credit: NASA

 

The International Space Station's Tranquility node and Cupola are featured in this image photographed by a spacewalker during the STS-134 mission's third session of extravehicular activity (EVA). Earth's horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene. ISS028-E-005527 (25 May 2011)

 

Earth's thin line of atmosphere and a starry sky just off the port wing of the docked space shuttle Endeavour (STS-134) are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the station.

 

The docked space shuttle Endeavour (STS-134), backdropped by a night time view of Earth and a starry sky are featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the station.

 

A portion of the International Space Station is visible in this view of a starry sky and Earth's horizon, photographed by an STS-134 crew member while space shuttle Endeavour remains docked with the station. Photo credit: NASA

 

  Photo: Space shuttle Discovery with Progress 22 resupply vehicle

  

Soyuz 13 Docked at ISS

Photograph courtesy NASA The blackness of space and Earth's horizon provide the backdrop for this image of the docked Soyuz 13 (foreground) and the Progress 22 resupply vehicle. Astronauts photographed the Soyuz from a window on the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery was docked with the station.  

Photo: Astronauts working on International Space Station

ISS Spacewalk

Photograph courtesy NASA Astronaut Robert Curbeam works on the port overheard solar array wing on the International Space Station's P6 truss. Construction and repairs are an ongoing process on the ISS, which may be completed by 2010. When it's finished, the space station will be larger than a typical five-bedroom house.  

Photo: Astronaut outside the International Space Station

ISS Spacewalk

Photograph courtesy NASA Astronaut Robert Curbeam works on the port overheard solar array wing on the International Space Station's P6 truss. Construction and repairs are an ongoing process on the ISS, which may be completed by 2010. When it's finished, the space station will be larger than a typical five-bedroom house.  

Photo: International Space Station above Earth

 

Photo: Docking compartment

Photo: International Space Station over Miami, Florida

Photo: International Space Station

Go Discovery! It was October 23, 2007 at 11:40am EST when I had my first ride to space on Discovery. She's beautiful… just sad that this will be her last voyage. Looking forward to climbing aboard the flight deck when Discovery arrives at the Space Station in November. (9-23-2010). Space Photo: Larry Tanner, NASA. Special thanks: Bethbeck's blog

2. Amazing Pictures from Space: A Hero Comes Home

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Space photo: 'Earthshine'… The Space Station basking in blue Earthshine as the rising sun pierces our razor-thin atmosphere to cover the Space Station with blue light. I’ll never forget this place…seeing this makes the heart soar and the soul sing (11-7-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

3 NASA astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock (NASA). Space Photo: NASA

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Space photo: Isle Juan de Nova In the Mozambique Channel between Madagascar and the African mainland. The beautiful colors rival the amazing places in the Caribbea (11-15-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space photo: Aurora Borealis In the distance on this beautiful night over Europe. The Strait of Dover is pretty clear as is Paris, the City of Lights. A little fog over the western part of England and London. It is incredible to see the lights of the cities and small towns against the backdrop of deep space. I am going to miss this view of our wonderful world… (11-8-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Moon from the ISS Fly me to the Moon…let me dance among the Stars…” I hope we never lose our sense of wonder. A passion for exploration and discovery is a noble legacy to leave to our children. I hope we set our sails and venture out one day. That will be one glorious day… (8-22-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Progress-37 over Bahamas Of all the places on our glorious planet, few rival the brilliant colors of The Bahamas. Here is a view of our Progress-37 re-supply spacecraft, with the islands of The Bahamas as a backdrop. What a wonderful world (8-22-2010)! Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Astronaut working on the outside of ISS Traveling at 17,500 miles per hour (5 miles per second)…we orbit the Earth every 90 minutes, with a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes. So half of our space walk is in complete darkness. The helmet lights are essential at the work sight. Here I am getting the bail drive lever ready for my arch nemesis…the ‘M3 Ammonia Connector’. The dance begins (8-14-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: ISS solar panel with Earth in the background Every moment I get to look out the window at our beautiful planet, my soul just sings!!…”I see skies of blue…and clouds of white…the bright blessed day…” (6-29-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Daybreak Another breathtaking sunset…we get 16 of these each day in Earth orbit, each one a treasured moment. That beautiful thin blue line is what makes our home so special in the cosmos. Space is cool…but, the Earth is a raging explosion of life in a vast sea of darkness (6-21-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Atoll in South Pacific Beautiful atoll in the South Pacific through a 400mm lens. About 1200 miles south of Honolulu . In the ‘Line Islands’ along ‘Christmas Ridge’, either ‘Teraina’ or ‘Tabuaeran’? (11-15-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Cyprus Beautiful reflection of sunlight on the eastern Mediterranean Sea. No borders or conflict visible from space…just breath-taking beauty like this view of the island of Cyprus (6-21-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Hurricane Earl Out over the central Atlantic, just before another spectacular sunset, with the spiral bands of Hurricane Earl visible in the setting sun. An interesting view of the life-giving energy of our sun. The solar arrays on the port side of the Space Station as well as Hurricane Earl…both gathering the last bit of energy before they fall into eclipse (8-30-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Ayers Rock Just a little further to the east, we spotted sacred and majestic 'Uluru'. You may recognize it by its more popular name of 'Ayers Rock'. I have never had the opportunity to visit Australia, but one glorious day, I hope to be standing amazed beside this natural wonder. Can't wait to read your thoughts of 'Uluru' (10-26-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Mountain in the Andes in South America Morning breaking over the majestic Andes in South America . I really am not sure of the name of this mountain…just was in awe of its majesty, reaching into the windswept heights and the rising sun. Another day… another chance to stand tall and be counted (10-30-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: The Nile and Egypt by day Over the Sahara Desert approaching ancient lands and thousands of years of history. The Nile River flowing through Egypt past the pyramids of Giza up to Cairo in the delta; the Red Sea, Sinai Peninsula, Dead Sea; Jordan River; and the Sea of Galilee are visible, as are the island of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea and Greece coming over the horizon (9-6-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: The Nile and Egypt by night A night view of the Nile River winding up through the Egyptian desert toward the Mediterranean Sea, and Cairo in the river delta. Such a stark contrast between the dark desolate lifeless desert of northern Africa and the Nile River teeming with life along its shores. In the distance… the eastern Mediterranean on a beautiful autumn evening (1-31-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Progress 39P Our ‘Progress 39P’ unmanned resupply spaceship on final approach for docking this past Sunday. It was laden with food, fuel, spare parts, and much needed supplies for our orbiting outpost. The greatest gift was just inside the hatch…some bags of fresh fruit and vegetables. Such a wonderful treat after 3 months of eating out of tubes and plastic pouches (9-15-2010)! Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: view out of the cupola Wanted to share this view out of the Cupola. We said farewell to our teammates Sasha, Misha and Tracy this weekend and they are safely back on planet Earth. Tracy in quiet reflection of an incredible journey…homeward bound…(9-26-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Soyuz 23s above the Caspian Sea Soyuz 23S, “Olympus” docked to the nadir side of the Space Station. This will be our ride back home to planet Earth when our work is complete here. Thought I would tweet this view out of the Cupola, as we were passing over the majestic snow-capped Caucuses. The sun rising and reflecting off the Caspian Sea (9-26-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Part of the Great Barrier Reef An explosion of color, motion, and life painted on the canvas of our wonderful world. This is a section of the Great Barrier Reef off the eastern coast of Australia, captured through a 1200mm lens. I think even the great Impressionists would be awestruck with this natural display (8-22-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Italy by night The beauty of Italy, on a clear summer night, stretching out into the Mediterranean Sea. You can see many of the beautiful islands lit up and adorning the coastline including Capri, Sicily, and Malta. The city of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius stand out along the coast. Viva Esperia (8-22-2010)! Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Patagonia glacier At the southern end of South America lies the jewel of Patagonia. The awe-inspiring beauty of rugged mountains, massive glaciers, fjords, and the open sea collide in a breathtaking display. I have dreams of this place and wonder what it would be like to breathe this air. Pure majesty (8-28-2010)! Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: The Cupola from the outside The ‘Cupola’, attached to the nadir side of the Space Station, gives a panoramic view of our beautiful planet. Fyodor took this picture from the window of the Russian Docking Compartment (Airlock). Here I am in the Cupola preparing a camera for our late evening Hurricane Earl flyover…trying to capture the moment…(8-31-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Greece by night The Isles of Greece during a clear night pass over Europe. Athens shining brightly along the Mediterranean Sea. A very surreal feeling to view the splendor of this ancient land from outer space (9-4-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Florida by night The Florida peninsula and the southeastern U.S. on the kind of evening that I miss most about our planet. A clear autumn night with moonlight over the water and the sky filled with a billion stars (11-2-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Middle East by night A clear starry night over the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea . Ancient lands with thousands of years of history stretching from Athens, Greece all the way around the Med to Cairo, Egypt. Storied lands, fabled cities, and alluring islands… Athens – Crete – Rhodes – Izmir – Ankara – Cyprus – Damascus – Beirut – Haifa – Amman – Tel Aviv – Jerusalem – Cairo are beacons on this cool November night. Grace and Peace from the sanctity of space… (11-7-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Sunset It is the season for viewing Polar Mesospheric Clouds, and with our high beta-angle we were able to capture this thin layer of noctilucent clouds at sunset (6-25-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock

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Space Photo: Crew leaving the ISS Shannon, me, and Fyodor all suited up in our Sokol (Russian word for 'Falcon') pressure suits in the Russian MRM-1 module. We strapped into our Soyuz capsule 'Olympus' to conduct pressurization and leak checks on our suits. All systems 'go'… the countdown to landing has begun. Leave a light on for us… we’ll be home soon… (11-20-2010). Space Photo: NASA, Astronaut Wheelock  


 

Galactic images on a budget: Rookie photographer takes stunning shots of the Milky Way using a simple digital camera

Taken from the surface of the Earth using a digital camera, these beautiful images show the Milky Way in all its awe-inspiring glory.

Created by up-and-coming photographer Bret Webster, they are all the more remarkable because he has been taking pictures for only three years. But since one of them – called Balanced – appeared in National Geographic magazine, his life has taken a new direction.

Though his photos of our galaxy look more like something that would be captured by sophisticated equipment aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, Mr Webster takes them using the simple digital camera his wife gave him and a tripod.  

An autumn evening over a collection of hoodoos in Goblin Valley National Park in Green River, Utah. Haze in the air adds colour to the Milky Way near the horizon

An autumn evening over a collection of hoodoos in Goblin Valley National Park in Green River, Utah. Haze in the air adds colour to the Milky Way near the horizon

Using the night skies of the national parks of his home state of Utah in the United States as his canvas, Mr Webster has created stunning images that highlight the relative insignificance of the Earth in the cosmos

. 'I feel a deep affinity for the Utah desert and I have always been in awe when visiting the Arches National Park and Canyon Lands,'said the 51-year-old, who has worked for 27 years as a rocket engineer and solid-fuel propellant specialist for US defence firm Northrop Grumman.

He said his new career took off when he borrowed his wife's 'new Nikon camera three years ago and having been a return visitor to the national parks of Utah I know where some of the best spots are'. 'For me,' he added: 'the pictures that bring (together) the ancient American native rock paintings and the Milky Way are the most powerful.' 

Our galaxy: The Milky Way, again seen through a close-set pair of natural arches in Arches National Park

Our galaxy: The Milky Way, again seen through a close-set pair of natural arches in Arches National Park

Some of the paintings that inspire him are believed to have been created by an ancient people called the Western Archaic Culture up to 8,000 years ago.  'In my pictures, I like to make it clear that the view when these paintings were made would have been similar 8,000 years before, and will be similar 8,000 years hence. 'Our existence is just part of this huge Milky Way.

Now working with a Canon 5D MK2 on a tripod pointed at the sky and using a 30-60 second exposure, his images rely on the quality of the camera equipment. 'Digital cameras have become so advanced that it is now possible to take these pictures from the surface of the Earth and use their sensors to capture thousands of stars in the night sky.

'Southern Utah is one of the darkest parts of the United States and the camera amplifies the light available from the Milky Way.

 

Spectacular: The Milky Way rises above the Landscape Arch on a cold November night after a storm

Spectacular: The Milky Way rises above the Landscape Arch on a cold November night after a storm

 

A beautiful Milky Way complements an assortment of Anasazi Native American petroglyphs including a centipede in Utah

'I use very wide and very fast lenses, sometimes even a 15mm fisheye, which helps capture the full Milky Way with 180-degree panorama. He adds that he enjoys the natural elements that remind him of the passage of geologic time and tries to bring this out in his pictures. 'I see the universe at work all around in the canyons.

The erosion of the rocks, the wind that blows through the canyons, and the wildlife that roam the plains.' 'I am just trying to capture a little piece of the story.' As he has to shoot in temperatures of -12C and hike for hours to elevations of  6,000ft or more to take his pictures, his passion for photography is evident. 'I know where all the secret spots are to capture the beauty of the Milky Way at night.

To see our place in the scheme of things is what makes my spine tingle when I take these pictures.' he said. Stunning shots: Mr Webster used special illumination and the Milky Way galaxy to create his vision of an alien landscape at Balanced Rock in Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah. The beautiful Milky Way provides the background for Native American art on a rock.   

The Holy Ghost Panel rock painting in Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park in San Juan, Utah, photographed with the Milky Way in the background

The Holy Ghost Panel rock painting in Horseshoe Canyon in Canyonlands National Park in San Juan, Utah, photographed with the Milky Way in the background

  

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