July 19, 2006

High above the insanity

Astronomy Picture of the Day:

"Reflections on Planet Earth"
Credit: Michael Fossum, STS-121 Mission, NASA

From the site:

"Explanation: Catching sight of your reflection in a store window or shiny hubcap can be entertaining and occasionally even inspire a thoughtful moment. So consider this reflective view from 300 kilometers above planet Earth. The picture is actually a self-portrait taken by astronaut Michael Fossum on July 8 during a space walk or extravehicular activity while the Discovery orbiter was docked with the International Space Station. Turning his camera to snap a picture of his own helmet visor, he also recorded the reflection of his fellow mission specialist, Piers Sellers, near picture center and one of the space station's gold-tinted solar power arrays arcing across the top. Of course, the horizon of our fair planet lies in background."

If you've ever scuba dived, you know that feeling of complete immersion and escape it can provide. Those space walks must be like that to the nth degree.


Fuzzball said...

I grew up with the daughter of astronaut Claude Nicollier. He once told me that the stillness of space was like no experience that he had ever had on Earth. He said that one of the (many) reasons behind the battery of psychological tests that astronauts go through is that not just anyone can handle the vastness and the stillness.

Chris said...

Wow. That's interesting. You wouldn't think it's that difficult to handle.

Fuzzball said...

Well...I mean, you're out there in the infinite, you know? Must be pretty mind-boggling.

P.S. Okay, I don't know WHAT the hell I did to piss off Blogger, but everytime I come to your site I get these word verifications that are 20 letters long!

Chris said...

Oh, that. It's the "fuzzball containtment option" in the blogger comments settings. I felt it was neccessary. It allows bloggers to set a number of anywhere from 2 to 20 characters anytime fuzzball chooses to leave a comment. I opted to go with the highest security setting. You obviously did piss off someone at Blogger. Not my fault.

Fuzzball said...

You, sir, are a wisenheimer. ;P