SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Star Blasts, Titan Shadow, More

SPACE PHOTOS THIS WEEK: Star Blasts, Titan Shadow, More
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December 21, 2009--Bright golden waters surround the toe of Italy's "boot" in a recent picture taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Although the shot might look like a photographic negative, the picture is actually the result of an effect called sun glint, in which sunlight hitting the water's mirror-like surface is reflected directly toward the photographer.

The unusual picture also highlights two cloud patterns over the peninsula: Fluffy cumulus clouds at lower altitudes seem to be smudged by the gray altostratus clouds above, which are being stretched by higher-level winds. (See pictures of what could become the first new cloud type named since 1951.)
— Photograph courtesy NASA
 
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