This is absolutely STUNNING. A local Chicago photographer, Mark Hersch, (who happens to be one of the nicest people you will ever meet) just had his photo "Inverted City Beneath Clouds" chosen by Nasa as the Astronomy Picture of the Day. Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured with explanations from Nasa professionals about what is going on in them. Today Mark's is featured HERE.
The beautiful colors and shocking imagery literally stunned me on this gorgeous summer day so I reached out to ask Mark more about how the photo happened. I mean, really! The city appears upside down in the clouds!!! This is what he told me....
"A few years ago I was returning to Chicago from a business trip. It was late in the afternoon. The sun was setting and the city was shrouded in a heavy cloud cover. As we descended beneath the clouds and swung out over Lake Michigan to make our final approach into O’Hare International Airport, I saw this amazing sight: through an opening in clouds, the sun’s rays were shining down on the city, projecting the shadow of the skyline onto the lake. We were banking at a steep angle. I knew this scene would be gone in seconds. I grabbed my iPhone, pressed it against the window and snapped off a single picture. Boom! I thought it was a pretty cool photo so I put it on my Facebook page. Somehow, someone from USA Today saw it and the next day it was featured in the paper’s weather page, both in print and online. Then it went viral. News outlets and social media sites picked up on it. Within days it appeared in newspapers in dozens of countries all over the world. It trended on Google, Yahoo, Reddit and God knows where else. It was named “Photo of the Year” by Society’s Choice Magazine. AOL called it “the best photo ever taken from an airplane window.” Yahoo News labeled it “the best iPhone picture ever.” It has over 100 million views online.
It has spurred countless debates on whether it’s a real photograph (it is), and whether it’s photoshopped (it isn’t). Aside from a little sharpening, the picture is straight out of the camera. People were so perplexed as how this image was even possible, a college science professor created a graphic diagramming the physics of the shot (SEE BELOW) . If you enlarge the image you can also see, right in the center, another plane making its approach to a parallel runway. The funny part is that I was never supposed to be on that flight. I had been it Atlanta that week. It was during the freak “Snowpocalypse” that covered the city in a blanket of ice, shutting down the airport for two days. I was stranded. When I finally got on a flight home, I tried to get an aisle seat, as is my preference. Alas, only window seats were available. If that isn’t odd enough, it is only because I failed to heed the flight attendants instructions, “in preparation for landing, please turn off all electrical devices” that my phone was even on in the first place. I guess some things were just meant to be!"
Indeed, Mark, some things are just meant to be.
(**photos courtesy of Mark Hersch)
This is how many times this photo has been GOOGLED!!