Mike's Astro Photos
Dec.08 2009

Strange Contrail

by , under Clouds

A couple of weeks ago I was outside taking a break with a couple of work buddies. We noticed a very strange cloud in the sky that started below the horizon and went up at a very steep angle.  It was too close to the horizon to be a plane contrail and much too steep. I joked that it was probably a meteor trail because it reminded me of the Sikhote meteor painting. My friend Matt took some pictures with his cell phone and emailed them to me. I had forgotten about it until a couple of weeks later when I read that the Space Shuttle had just landed after completing the mission STS-129.  I thought, maybe that weird cloud was the contrail from the Space Shuttle. I checked that dates for the mission launch and sure enough the Space Shuttle took off at 2:28 EST on November 16th, 2009.  Matt took the pictures a few minutes after 3:00 PM EST on November 16th. The cloud was east of our position. I’m 99% sure this strange contrail was left by the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

Space Shuttle Contrail - November 16th, 2009 3:05 PM EST

Space Shuttle Contrail - November 16th, 2009 3:05 PM EST

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