Chris Kridler's Sky Diary: storm chasing, photography and rainy-day tales

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gallery: April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010: Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, at 6:21 a.m. EDT. These shots were taken from Cocoa, Florida, just as dawn was beginning to creep in. Share

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image, or view these photos as a gallery. From the gallery pages, click the "up" arrow to return to this index.

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Discovery launched at the cusp of dawn, at 6:21 a.m. EDT, on April 5, 2010. Here's the view from Cocoa, Florida. Discovery's contrail is touched by the light of dawn, as the shuttle heads toward orbit. An interesting atmospheric effect begins to be visible as the shuttle continues its journey.
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Note the contrail, and then the "winged" clouds created by the shuttle. I've never seen the shuttle leave that sort of trail before; I'm told it was nacreous clouds. If I had to make up a term, I'd call it the falling angel effect for its beautiful wispy wings. Here's another shot of Discovery's "falling angel effect" (nacreous clouds) as it heads over the horizon and toward orbit. Sunlight begins to catch the dissipating contrail.

2010 reports and photos

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go to reports from 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997