Amazing Images of Shuttle and Hubble Transiting Sun

Article written: 15 May , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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No, these aren’t sunspots finally appearing on our currently quiet sun. Check out these amazing images taken by photographer Thierry Legault. The “spots” are actually the space shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope transiting across the sun! Legault’s website says these are the only images ever taken of a transit of a shuttle and the HST in front of the Sun. Legault was in Florida at the time he took this image, about 100 km south of the Kennedy Space Center on May 13th 2009 12:17 local time, several minutes before grapple of Hubble by Atlantis. The transit only lasted .8 seconds, and Legault was able to snap 4 images a second, getting a total of 16 different shots of the entire event (he started shooting 2 seconds before the predicted transit.)

He took another image the previous day of just the shuttle transiting (see below.)

In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault)

In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault)


Here, space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, on Tuesday, May 12, 2009, also taken from Florida. This image was taken made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had caught up with the Hubble Space Telescope.

Amazing!

See more on NASA’s Flickr page.

See more of Legault’s photographer here and here.


9 Responses

  1. GekkoNZ says

    Oh wow! that is just fantastic.

  2. Jon Hanford says

    VERY cool image! Since the time between grapple and berthing of HST was delayed (in order to check that Hubble was in drift mode), it made several orbits with the scope at the end of the robotic arm. Possibly some lucky amateurs caught this configuration in a dark sky with a suitably equipped telescope. Both the shuttle & HST should have been easy to resolve ( in the proper orientation). That would be pretty cool, too!

  3. star-grazer west coast says

    Awesome!!!. The SS was at most a few hundred miles/kilometers up, while the hugh Sun we take for granted, is 1AU away.!!!!

  4. Sofia says

    Amazing !

  5. Wryxian says

    This is so stunning! I am sure this is gonna be discussed in my nerdclub this weekend!!! (8

    Unbelieveable the space shuttle and telescope don’t melt!!

  6. christos says

    Anthony Ayiomamitis, a well know greek astrophotographer has also photographed the ISS with the Sun see picture here: http://www.perseus.gr/Astro-Sat-Trans-2005-07-28.htm

  7. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    “Unbelieveable the space shuttle and telescope don’t melt!!”

    I hear they lose some wing panels from time to time though. “Call me Icarus.”

  8. internyet says

    One word: Hoax!!

  9. Spoodle58 says

    Just saw these images, great shots they are.

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