Astronomy Picture of the Day

Orbiting Astronaut Reflects Earth

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Orbiting Astronaut Reflects Earth


self-portraits can be particularly interesting.

Visible in the
above picture,
working in from the outer borders,
are the edges of the reflecting helmet of a
space suit,
modules of the
International Space Station (ISS), the
Earth, the arms of
Expedition 15 astronaut
Clay Anderson,
and the digital camera used to snap the image.

This picture was taken during the
orbiter Endeavour
mission to expand the space station last August.

The large curvature of the Earth appearing in the visor
reflection is not the true
curvature of our spherical Earth, but rather an artifact of the
curve of the space helmet.

Earth's horizon appears only slightly curved
when viewed from the height of the ISS -- approximately 400 kilometers.

The next space shuttle mission
to the space station is currently expected to take place next month and
includes the installation of the scientific

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