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Coolest Photo Taken

in the History of EVER

5/15/2009 2:01 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

An amateur astronomer named Thierry Legault took this unbelievable photo of the Space Shuttle Atlantis silhouetted by our massive sun -- and you won't believe what it took to get the shot.

Space Shuttle
The shuttle (which is only 37m long and has a 24m wingspan) was traveling 17,500 mph at 350 miles above the Earth's surface -- and Lagault says he only had .8 seconds to get the shot. The sun looms in the background a mere 91 million miles away.

We're not going to get into what kind of equipment, settings and preparation it took -- because we're too busy staring at the pic to get into it. But you can check out another amazing shot on the dude's website.

64 COMMENTS

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31.

pua    

Uh.... that would be 93 million miles please... Put down the camera, open a book.

1884 days ago
32.

xcalibur    

NOT IMPRESSED! SAW THE SAME THING WITH THE STAR TREK SPACESHIP AGAINST SATURN. JUST SAYIN!! =)

1884 days ago
33.

DaJuice    

1884 days ago
34.

glen    

The flat-earthers came out in legion for this one.

It's real.

1884 days ago
35.

M    

THis entire thread is TOOOO funny - love you PeopleSmurf and I cant Believe how many Dumb People there are.This defiantley devides the haves with the haves not so many brain cells..
does anyone watch the discovery channel..ever ? Ever ? - even the commercials Teach You.....

The More You Know - (insert flying old school star )

1884 days ago
36.

NuhTarian    

bloody amazing that shot is

1884 days ago
37.

Meg    

BEAUTIFUL!!
absolutely amazing!
0.0

1884 days ago
38.

jbob1014    

Here's one from a few years ago after Atlantis had just left the International Space Station
http://www.visual--media.com/blog/?p=126

1884 days ago
39.

jbob1014    

In simple terms here's how they do it. Point a telescope at the sun, using the internet and some math it's not hard to figure when something in orbit around the earth will pass in front of the sun from the vantage point of someone on the ground. Since objects in orbit are moving at 17,500 mph you only have fractions of second to get the picture. Take the picture and using filters, zooming, and cropping you can see quite a bit of detail.

1884 days ago
40.

Marla    

I thought the sun is bright orange...ish! The fire that exudes from the sun is actually reddish orange the closer the shot. Yep, it's a knat orbiting a lemon.

1884 days ago
41.

Terri    

Amazing, wow, TMZ thanks for sharing and thanks to the other posters that added insightful and believable insight.

FOR YOU ARMCHAIR POLITICAL JABBERWALKIES, WHY DO YOU INSIST ON INFILTRATING TMZ AND BRINGING UP NON SUBJECT ISSUES? THERE ARE A HELLUVA LOT OF OTHER POLITICAL BLOGS OUT THERE FOR YOU TO GO AND BLOG ON. AFRAID YOU CAN'T KEEP UP WITH THOSE THAT BLOG ON POLITICS EVERY DAY? OR DO YOU COME HERE BECAUSE IT'S A LESS POPULATED AUDIENCE THAN AT THE POLITICAL SITES? I GO ON A REGULAR BASIS TO THE POLITICAL BLOGS, WE'D APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD TOO AND KEEP YOUR COMMENT POSTS PERTINENT TO THE ARTICLE TMZ HAS POSTED ON.

1884 days ago
42.

J    

Amazing: kind of... but you can see a better pic with both the shuttle AND hubble in flight across the sun over at Spaceweather. There is a group of us that chase satellite sun transits... we use satellite tracking and house our telescopes with modified webcams or other digital video cams. Once we capture the video we break the frames down for the single images. Calsky is great for finding out about satellite tracking... more oft than not, it is ISS that we are hoping to capture crossing the sun (as well as the moon).

1884 days ago
43.

Brewster    

IT'S REAL!!! NASA has it on their website!!

1884 days ago
44.

PatinNJ    

If that's real Mario Lopez is straight.

1884 days ago
45.

cuban sandwich    

If that's a real photo, Pelosi is telling the truth.

1884 days ago
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