NASA and some very brave astronauts are currently on a mission to perform maintenance on the aging Hubble space telescope. The mission itself is to repair broken parts and add in a new camera and other new pieces to help extend the life of the telescope.
One amateur astronomer wasnt content with only reading about it online or possibly watching a live feed. He decided to take a picture of the repair mission by himself from down here on Earth.
What you see below is Atlantis as it is about to capture Hubble from orbit. These impressive and stunning photos were taken by Thierry Legaults from Florida and the backdrop in the picture is the Sun.
For those of you who want to know how the picture was taken: "the image shows the faraway scene as viewed through a Takahashi TOA-130 refractor telescope (focal length 2200mm) and a Baader solar prism, which gives the Sun its muted look. Strapped to the back of the telescope, the 5D was set to ISO 100 and a 1/8000 shutter speed, the cameras extreme low and high settings, respectively [Edit: woops, the Mk II actually does ISO 50]. Legault used the free online Celestial Observer tool to calculate the best time to shoot from his location."
A true mark of mastery and beauty not only for mankind as this orbital ballet takes place but also for the knowledge and skills that were required to capture these great photos.