Before I delve into anything else, I just wanted to share the photograph, that I tried unsuccessfully to upload yesterday. It was a spectacular picture of a retreating thunderstorm (with mammatus clouds) illuminated by the setting sun on Sunday evening. It was taken by Debi Oswald of Park Falls. It is not often we get so much color and so many interesting features in one picture. Many other lucky people saw and snapped pictures of that sunset. I would like to put a lot more pictures in the blog at this point but I have not yet figured out how to get them all to line up nicely and not ruin the format of the post. I guess I will just put them at the end of the text, so check the bottom.
Staying on the subject of cool pictures, how about that Space Shuttle launch from last week! Nice to see that it went off without a hitch. As I have mentioned in the past, I side with those who decided to shut down the program. It was too expensive, too dangerous, and too old to continue. The program was fabulous when it began and there were some great advances and discoveries made during the shuttle era, but now it is way past time for something new. I think the private-public partnership for space exploration in the future is a good thing to try. In any case, here is a great picture of the last shuttle launch heading off into the wild blue (or black) yonder. It is amazing how huge the space shuttle and its booster rockets are, yet how tiny they seem against the vastness of space.
Outside of shuttle news, the most interesting space exploration news is that the robotic spaceship ”Dawn” has arrived at the large asteroid (or proto-planet) Vesta. It will orbit and study the object for the next year. Read about it and view pictures here.
Have a pleasant Tuesday! Meteorologist Justin Loew.
This post was written by jloew on July 19, 2011