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See It: Everest from Space

(It's still pretty tall.)


Last week, an image shot around the internet, “Mount Everest from Space.” Turns out, the image in question, recently captured by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, had been misidentified—and the center mountain is not the beloved climbing behemoth.

To nurse your broken heart, here's an image from NASA that actually is Everest from space, taken in 2004. (Hint: it's the big one.) Unimpressed? NASA reminds us: "It might look like a photo taken from an airplane, until one remembers the summits are at the height typically flown by commercial jets."

And, from astronaut Ron Garan, who spent time on the Space Station last year and has never been able to capture Everest on camera himself, an explanation for why it’s just so hard to get an Instagram-worthy pic of the mountain while you’re floating around the void:

The answer is quite simple, all the photos we take from space are taken in the crew's own personal time. No time is allotted in our work day normally for Earth pictures. So if we want to capture a specific point on the ground we have to first know exactly when we will fly over that spot, second be available to grab a camera and get to a window, and third have the weather and proper sun angles to get a great shot. Over the course of my six months in space I was never able to get all three of those to align for Mt. Everest.

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