Sunday, July 18, 2004
Columbia photo of North Atlantic
The photograph below was taken by the crew on board the Columbia during its last mission, on a cloudless day.
The picture is of Europe and Africa when the sun is setting. Half of the picture is in night. The bright dots you see are the cities lights. The top part of Africa is the Sahara Desert. Note that the lights are already on in Holland, Paris, and Barcelona, and that's it's still daylight in Dublin, London, Lisbon, and Madrid.
The sun is still shining on the Strait of Gibraltar. The Mediterranean Sea is already in darkness. In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean you can see the Azores Islands; below them to the right are the Madeira Islands; a bit below are the Canary Islands; and further South, close to the farthest western point of Africa, are the Cape Verde islands.
Note that the Sahara is huge and can be seen clearly both during Daytime and night time.
To the left, on top, is Greenland, totally frozen.
UPDATE: August 30, 2005 7:31am
Turns out this was not taken by the Columbia crew:
"The photograph included in this mailing predates the Columbia shuttle disaster by quite some time. As we found with the World Trade Center attacks of 2001, even the most nondescript of chain letters seems somewhat more "special" when associated with a national tragedy. Fortunately, this one appears to be a hopeful misattribution and not an intentionally misleading hoax (like another chain, supposedly including a series of photographs of the Columbia's destruction)."
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