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.

click for larger chart
Source: Graphic Humor & Inspiration (


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)."

Posted at 05:50 AM in Art & Design, Science | Permalink


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This image is NOT what you claim! It is a computer generated image! Note the topography of the sea floor showing through!!! And Columbia flew and disintegrated in February of 2003. This image was already floating around the Internet (with a different caption) BEFORE the Columbia disaster. The position of the terminator (sunset line) as shown in this image corresponds to late June. And no clouds? Come on, give me a break!

Posted by: D.W. Shakel | Jan 19, 2005 1:07:42 AM



Posted by: MMF | Jun 3, 2005 6:52:44 AM

Now that I have looked that this picture a little close I think D.W. Shakel is right! I tried ti find this picture on the NASA website a can not find it.
If we are wrong gave the URL of the NASA or JPL for this picture.

Posted by: Jim Nall | Jun 28, 2005 11:12:06 AM

Posted by: Dan Hartung | Aug 29, 2005 11:43:26 PM

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