Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2010 April 9
Explanation: On April 5, visitors to Kennedy Space Centre saw these colourful clouds, twisting and drifting through dawn skies. Of course, the clouds were rocket engine plumes from the predawn launch of the space shuttle Discovery on the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. Their layered colours are created as they reflect the reddened light from the still rising Sun. Fittingly, denizens of the space centre's rocket garden are lit in the foreground. At the far left is a 1960s vintage multistage Atlas-Agena rocket. Together on the right, are Mercury-Redstone and Mercury-Atlas rockets.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.