Now Playing Tracks


A Sun Pillar Over Sweden
Image Credit: Göran Strand

When the air is cold and the Sun is rising or setting, falling ice crystals can reflect sunlight and create an unusual column of light. Ice sometimes forms flat, six-sided shaped crystals as it falls from high-level clouds. Air resistance causes these crystals to lie nearly flat much of the time as they flutter to the ground. Sunlight reflects off crystals that are properly aligned, creating the sun-pillar effect.


Apollo 17 Launch

The huge, 363-feet tall Apollo 17 (Spacecraft 114/Lunar Module 12/Saturn 512) space vehicle is launched from Pad A., Launch Complex 39, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida, at 12:33 a.m. (EST), Dec. 7, 1972.

Apollo 17, the final lunar landing mission in NASA’s Apollo program, was the first nighttime liftoff of the Saturn V launch vehicle. Aboard the Apollo 17 spacecraft were astronaut Eugene A. Cernan, commander; astronaut Ronald E. Evans, command module pilot; and scientist-astronaut Harrison H. Schmitt, lunar module pilot. Flame from the five F-1 engines of the Apollo/Saturn first (S-1C) stage illuminates the nighttime scene. A two-hour and 40-minute hold delayed the Apollo 17 launching.

To Tumblr, Love Pixel Union