Two weeks ago I said that if I were an astronaut, I’d spend all my time with my nose pressed against the window. So it was with considerable enjoyment that I found this on NASA’s Flickr page: astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, not quite with her nose pressed on the glass but close enough. She’s in the International Space Station’s cupola, surely the best view in the solar system, and she appears to be making the most of it.
Three weeks ago, the Wallpaper Monday was of NASA’s fabulously detailed “Blue Marble” image, showing North and South America as recorded by the newly launched Suomi NPP satellite. That image turned out to be so popular that NASA promptly released a follow-up, of the eastern hemisphere.
As with the first one, this image is the result of six separate satellite passes and a bunch of stitching together of the results. The whitish vertical lines are not artifacts of the stitching process, as some might guess, but rather sun reflections on the oceans as the satellite passed over. (Notice that they don’t appear on the land masses.) If you pull up the ginormous 11,500 x 11,500 version on Flickr, you can clearly see the reflections.
This image is also notable for capturing Tropical Storm Giovanna as it roars up on Madagascar. A day or so later it went directly over, covering the island nation from one end to the other.
And while I was nosing around NASA pics, I came across this one from 2007, centered on the Atlantic:
…which is gorgeous and has the added advantage of showing my adopted home.
Take your pick!
(Click on any image to planetize. Heck, click on ’em all.)