Stunning photos show a NASA shuttle carrier aircraft flying with the Orbiter Endeavor rocket attached to its roof.
A beautiful image, shared on Twitter by journalist Tyler Rogoway, captures the plane with the rocket on its back directly above as it flies over a desert.
Rogoway shared that he first spotted the image when visiting what is now known as the Armstrong Flight Research Center years ago.
“I was told that the photo, taken in December 2008 as Endeavor was returning to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, was one of the most popular … at the facility and was taken by one of the NASA’s most acclaimed photographers, Carla Thomas, âRogoway wrote.
âIf I remember correctly, the photo was planned in advance and perfectly executed from the back seat of Armstrong’s F / A-18B.
“The plane had rolled upside down – or almost upside down – to capture the unique angle of the loaded SCA.”
When you share the image on Twitter, Rogoway added: “The folks at the Armstrong Flight Research Center were pretty proud of this one last time I was there.”
The image received thousands of likes and shares on Twitter, with commentators amazed the plane could carry the Endeavor on its back.
In other space news, parts of the United States could see the Northern Lights this weekend due to a major solar flare.
The eruption is expected to hit Earth this weekend – in time for Halloween – with stunning Northern Lights expected to be visible across the United States.
It could also see areas rocked by a potentially strong geomagnetic storm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned.
Storms of this level can produce the Northern Lights visible at latitudes as low as Pennsylvania.
Space weather physicist Dr Tamitha Skov said on Twitter: “A direct hit for Halloween! The solar storm launched in Eruption X today is indeed directed towards Earth!”
âNASA forecasts confirm the impact at the start of October 31.
“Expect auroras at mid-latitudes, as well as problems with GPS reception and ham radio disturbance on the night side of Earth!”
The eruption is the result of a coronal mass ejection (CME) – a huge expulsion of plasma from the sun’s outer layer, called the corona.
NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, which tracks the star’s activity, captured an image of the eruption at 11:35 a.m. EST Thursday.
In a blog post, NASA said the “significant” rocket was classified as X1.