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Discovery’s Last Silhouette

There are many photos of various spacecraft traversing across the disk of the sun as they orbit the Earth. However, this one is special. This picture, taken on March 1 by Alan Friedman, shows the Space Shuttle Discovery midway through its final mission. A poignant image, to be sure.

Discovery will be landing tomorrow, March 9, ending decades of service. It is the oldest of the remaining orbiters, and it will be the first to roll off the tarmac and into history.

But no post would be complete without some obligatory educational content. Try this on for size, from Discover Magazine:

[…] see that sunspot cluster on the left? It looks to be about the same apparent size as the ISS… but it actually spans a region as big as Jupiter!

(Alan Friedman via Discover Magazine)

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