The photos that NASA astronauts beam back down to Earth from the International Space Station are pretty damn impressive. The astronauts NASA-grade gear to capture the beauty of our planet from space, but now NASA is saying that any old point-and-shoot you buy can replicate the same shots grabbed by astronauts out the window or even by satellites with automated camera systems.
NASA's Earth Observatory today posted this photo of the Great Pyramids of Giza from the International Space Station. The Earth Observatory page is a great resource for amazing imagery taken from space using the gamut of NASA's crazy space machinery, but NASA was frank today, saying that the images could be achieved just as easily with any off the shelf camera.
Says NASA of the image:
The Great Pyramids at Giza are the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and perhaps the most famous of the ancient monuments in the Nile River Delta of Egypt. They are also a favorite subject of photography from orbit—particularly when high-resolution imagery can be obtained. This subset of a larger astronaut photograph illustrates the degree of detail visible from the International Space Station (ISS) using a long focal-length lens to provide high magnification. With good illumination of the scene and a steady hand on the camera, current off-the-shelf digital cameras on the ISS can acquire detailed images to rival those of automated satellite sensors.
This shot of the Pyramids, for example, was captured by an astronaut sticking his Nikon D3X out the window. Not bad at all.
There you go, photography nuts. Get your best glass out and hit Cape Canaveral. They're sure to give you a ride one day, right? [Earth Observatory]