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   Undertoad  Monday Dec 11 12:54 PM

December 11, 2006: Great shuttle takeoff photos



It's the Neatorama/Cellar IotD weekly collaboration!



The NYTimes had this shot of the shuttle launch, and it pretty much made the rounds this weekend because it's such a fantastic photo. For some reason -- maybe the first night launch in some time -- there were a bunch of great shuttle shots this time.





Be sure to check out Neatorama for more neato items!



glatt  Monday Dec 11 01:02 PM

What wonderful shots!

Night photography like this isn't easy. That first image is composed beautifully. It's not like the photographer could see where the shuttle was and then compose the picture. A long exposure like this has to be set up in advance, the shutter opened, and then just cross you fingers and hope you got the exposure right and pointed the camera in the right spot. Beautiful.



Emrikol  Monday Dec 11 01:38 PM

I saw a wonderful shuttle takeoff photo once. I thought it was on IotD, but after searching the archives, possibly not?

It was a shot with perfect timing, lighting, and angle. It showed the smoke from the shuttle traveling straight to the moon as if it were going there.

Does anyone know what I'm taking about, and/or know where I can get a copy of the picture again?



Kitsune  Monday Dec 11 01:54 PM

I'm so happy they're doing night launches, again. The initial glow looks like the sun is coming up!

This is what the launch looked like all the way from the Tampa side of the state:



Missed the first couple seconds of it thanks to a camera screw-up.



glatt  Monday Dec 11 02:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
This is what the launch looked like all the way from the Tampa side of the state:

Missed the first couple seconds of it thanks to a camera screw-up.
Very nice Kitsune. How far away were you? too lazy to pull up a map.


Kitsune  Monday Dec 11 02:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt
Very nice Kitsune. How far away were you? too lazy to pull up a map.
Probably about 85 miles or so from the cape.


glatt  Monday Dec 11 02:29 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
Probably about 85 miles or so from the cape.
That's impressive that the event is still so visible from that far away.


Elspode  Monday Dec 11 02:51 PM

Do you hear the roar seven minutes after the launch?



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Dec 11 04:18 PM

Here is an very good explanation from MSNBC, about why night launches are necessary.



BobT  Tuesday Dec 12 07:44 AM

I have heard the shuttle take off while I was in Cape Coral, FL. That is approx 130 miles away. Cape Coral is on the Southwest coast of Florida. The family went outside to catch a view of the shuttle. Everyone else watched then went back into the house. I sat there for a few minutes thinking of the wonder of what I had seen, and then I heard the rumble. It was an unforgettable experience from so far away.



MaggieL  Tuesday Dec 12 09:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt
That's impressive that the event is still so visible from that far away.
The event was visible from Pennsylvania, if you knew where and when to look. Gwen and I got in the Maggiemobile around the right time, and drove to a location a mile or two away that I knew would give us a view of the horizon on a heading of 130, the azimuth for the predicted max elevation. While what we saw wasn't as spectacular as at the Cape, it clearly was Discovery on ascent.


ajaccio  Tuesday Dec 12 09:23 AM

Going to watch a lift-off from the Cape is one thing I wish to do in this lifetime. No good reason I have not done it by now, except letting life get in the way. Maybe the next one...



glatt  Tuesday Dec 12 09:25 AM

That's impressive too, Maggie. Sure, I've seen the Shuttle go overhead in orbit while docked at the station. But I've never seen a shuttle launch. Maybe I'll have to look for one in the future. If you can see it from Philly, I can see it from D.C. Maybe Mason Neck would offer a good view.



BigV  Tuesday Dec 12 09:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL
The event was visible from Pennsylvania, if you knew where and when to look. Gwen and I got in the Maggiemobile around the right time, and drove to a location a mile or two away that I knew would give us a view of the horizon on a heading of 130, the azimuth for the predicted max elevation. While what we saw wasn't as spectacular as at the Cape, it clearly was Discovery on ascent.
Lucky for you the terrain in your area is so flat.


bhaemolytic  Tuesday Dec 12 12:29 PM

The next few weeks promise excellent sightings of the shuttle docked with the ISS. You can calculate your sighting opportunities at this NASA website:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/

Simply choose your country and city...and hope for clear skies. With a very decent pair of binoculars, you can even discern the rough shape of the ISS.



Griff  Wednesday Dec 13 02:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bhaemolytic
The next few weeks promise excellent sightings of the shuttle docked with the ISS. You can calculate your sighting opportunities at this NASA website:

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/

Simply choose your country and city...and hope for clear skies. With a very decent pair of binoculars, you can even discern the rough shape of the ISS.
Thanks!


MaggieL  Wednesday Dec 13 02:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
Lucky for you the terrain in your area is so flat.
Well, we don't think of it as such. The location I chose was atop a local ridge, about 100ft higher in elevation than my house.

But I flew the Cardinal to Pittsburgh the other day and was reminded of how un-flat much of the rest of Pennsylvania is compared to Western Montgomery County. Especially around, say, Altoona.

On the other hand, Gwennie, who mostly grew up in Chicagoland, finds this area rather bumpy.


CharlieG  Wednesday Dec 13 03:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajaccio
Going to watch a lift-off from the Cape is one thing I wish to do in this lifetime. No good reason I have not done it by now, except letting life get in the way. Maybe the next one...
Been there, done that. Unfortunately the launch was from 39B not 39A - which means 8 miles not 3. It was loud, but not as loud as I've heard it is from 3 miles - I hear that the at 3 miles, it's nearly painful


rkzenrage  Thursday Dec 14 01:49 AM

You can check it out with a decent telescope from my house.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Dec 14 09:52 PM




xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 29 03:41 AM

For those of you that wish they could get close to the launch...




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