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  • Space Shuttle Launch

    Posted by Jonathan on November 14th, 2008 (All posts by )

    I was maybe 150 miles away. Unfortunately, my camera won’t do longer than a 30-second exposure without a remote shutter release that I didn’t have. So what you see here is a 30-second arc of the flight, starting at the lower left a few seconds after the Shuttle, which appeared to the eye as a small, glowing red-orange ball, became visible. The bright trail continued, at a shallow angle to the horizon, for about thirty more seconds and then dimmed considerably, perhaps when the boosters burned out. It was probably visible for about 90 seconds in total. I’m sure it’s much more impressive close-up, but it was a bit of a thrill just to see it over the lights of the city.

    Space Shuttle Over Miami

    The view from downtown Miami.

    (Click the photo to display a larger version in a new window.)


    6 Responses to “Space Shuttle Launch”

    1. peter jackson Says:

      That’s a helluva shot. May my children one day see city skies streaked with the contrails of space travellers.

    2. Laura(southernxyl) Says:

      I saw it from here in Lakeland.

      My dad had called me earlier to remind me of the launch. I watched the countdown on, and when the time got close I walked out to the end of the street and looked to the east. When I saw the glow of the rockets I called him. He told me to imagine that he was walking up behind me and putting his arms around me, and we were watching it together.

      It was my dad who introduced me to science fiction, and indirectly to science, when I was a girl. We both thought all the space-travel stories were just the coolest thing ever. He’s in his seventies, now, still living in Mississippi, and I hope we can arrange for him to visit sometime during a launch so he can see it for himself.

    3. Carl from Chicago Says:

      That is a great photo…

    4. Misterbixby Says:

      Thanks for my new desktop image. Great shot

    5. Kerico Says:

      Mr. Jonathan,

      I must say, I am a fan of your blog.
      I actually stumbled across it looking for old soviet photographs. I saw some at the Roy Boyd Gallery in downtown Chicago that I really liked, but they didn’t have names for the photographers. The photographs themselves looked very existential, there were several images of people reflected in glass and others sort of randomly standing outside of businesses.

      Have you seen anything like this?
      Might you know where I can find the images online?

      Thank you for the good work,


    6. Jonathan Says:

      Thanks, Kerico. You have some cool photos on your blog.

      I’m not familiar with the old Soviet photos you describe. Nearest thing that I can think of is these post-Soviet photos that I found a few months ago via Tatyana, but I don’t think they are what you are looking for. I can only suggest that you keep googling.

      All the best.