Recently, a Twitter account shared the “most terrifying space photo” ever taken by NASA. The image shows astronaut Bruce McCandless II floating untethered in space. The tweet has since gone viral.
The universe is both amazing and terrifying. From black holes, strange planets, giant stars to asteroids and meteors, space is filled with objects that evoke emotions. However, on June 20, a Twitter account posted a NASA photo that is now being called the “most terrifying space photo” ever. Surprisingly, the image is not of any of the above celestial bodies. It shows an astronaut wearing his spacesuit and floating in space, with no cables connecting him to the spacecraft. If something had gone wrong, the astronaut would not have been able to return and have died in space because there would have been no possibility of rescue. This surreal image of an astronaut against the backdrop of a vast space filled with darkness as the Earth seemingly moves away has now gone viral and the tweet has received over 200K likes as of now. Also read: Massive sunspot creates fear of solar flares for Earth; NASA says high risk of blackouts
The terrifying NASA photo is going viral on Twitter
The now viral tweet was shared by Sciencenature14 on the microblogging website on June 20. The image read: “Perhaps the most terrifying space photo yet. Astronaut Bruce McCandless II floats completely untethered, away from the safety of the space shuttle, with nothing but his manned maneuvering unit keeping it alive. The first person in history that did”.
To add more context to the image, it was taken 38 years ago in February 1984. The astronaut in the photo is Bruce McCandless II who was aboard the NASA Challenger space shuttle. The photo was taken while undergoing a satellite repair exercise. The iconic NASA photo has now gone viral. Also read: Amazing NASA photo of our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy released
At the time of writing, the post has 27.6K retweets and 209K likes. One internet user replied to the post, saying, “This represents a level of trust in people and technology that I will never have”.
According to a 1984 New York Times article, the astronaut was 170 miles above Earth when the photo was taken. Along with the spacecraft, McCandless II was also moving at a speed of 27,500 miles per hour, despite being outside it, as there is no friction in space to slow it down.