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Space photos of the day 09/02

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The Expedition 24 crew on the International Space Station (the current crew) photographed this image of polar mesospheric clouds illuminated by an orbital sunrise. Polar mesospheric, or noctilucent ("night shining"), clouds usually are seen at twilight, following the setting of the sun below the horizon and darkening of Earth's surface. Occasionally the station's orbital track becomes nearly parallel to Earth's day/night terminator for a time, allowing the clouds to be visible to the crew at times other than the usual twilight because of the station's altitude.


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