The image: On Wednesday morning, the space shuttle Endeavour and its six-astronaut crew safely touched down in Cape Canaveral, Fla. It marked the conclusion of the shuttle's final flight, a mission in which the crew delivered a $2 billion cosmic ray detector to the International Space Station, and completed four spacewalks. The astronauts were also able to snap some "stunning" photos on the 16-day trip. One shows the shuttle docked at the space station, the earth spinning below as night descends. (See the image below.) "It's pretty spectacular, the view of the planet from orbit," the mission's commander, Mark Kelly, told reporters Monday. "It's something you never forget."
The reaction: This is a "spectacular… amazing" image, says Space.com. "The last vestiges of daylight reflecting off the atmosphere lend an eerie glow to the scene." Indeed, says Lisa Grossman at Wired. The streak of city lights gives a "a sense of motion and urgency to the otherwise still scene," and the photograph really "captures the sheer speed of the space station and docked shuttle, which orbit Earth once every 90 minutes." Check it out: