Atlantis in transit

Atlantis by Thierry LegaultAs mentioned previously, you can catch up with the progress of the final Hubble Servicing Mission via NASAtelevision’s YouTube channel. In the meantime enjoy these stunning images of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, and the Hubble Space Telescope, silhouetted against the Sun – as captured in transit for the first time, from Florida, by French astrophotographer Thierry Legault. [whose website appears to be swamped currently]Here’s a slightly bigger version of that image

Atlantis by Thierry Legault

And here’s a full image of the Sun.

Atlantis Hubble Sun by Thierry Legault

And the area of interest.

Atlantis Hubble Sun by Thierry Legault

And a close-up with Atlantis and Hubble just visible.

Atlantis and Hubble by Thierry Legault

More images available from Thierry Legault’s website.

As SpaceWeather noted

To catch the rare meeting of spaceships, he decided to do some traveling of his own all the way to Florida. On May 12th, from a location near the Kennedy Space Center, he pointed his solar-filtered telescope at the sun and voilà!–there was Atlantis: The space shuttle’s silhouette was beautifully outlined by solar fire as Atlantis passed over central Florida.

A day later, he tried again, and this time Hubble joined the show: “I took this picture of Atlantis and the space telescope transiting the sun together on May 13th. It was just before the shuttle reached out with its robotic arm to grapple Hubble,” says Legault. “The two spaceships were at an altitude of 600 km and they zipped across the sun in only 0.8 seconds.” He captured the split-second transit using a Takahashi 5-inch refracting telescope and a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera.