Pyramids of Giza and the International Space Station

January 22, 2010

ISSand Pyramids

Photographer: Aymen Ibrahem
Summary Author: Aymen Ibrahem; Jim Foster; Stu Witmer

The photo above showing the Pyramid of Chephren (left) and the Great Pyramid of Cheops (right) was captured on January 4, 2010 from Giza, Egypt. On this clear, moonless evening, the International Space Station (ISS) was visible for two minutes before disappearing behind Cheops. It’s shown here gliding over Chephren. Cheops, also known as Kheops and the Great Pyramid of Giza, is the largest of the three pyramids found at Giza – 451 feet (138 m). Primarily constructed of huge limestone blocks quarried nearby, it’s the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one of these ancient wonders that appears nearly the same now as when it was constructed approximately 4,550 years ago.

Laser slides are shown nightly at Giza featuring portraits of ancient Egyptian monarchs, renditions of the Sphinx, and religious scenes. On the scene above, a priest dressed up as Anubis, the jackal-headed god, who was one of the gods of the Underworld, mummifies the corps of a deceased. Note that the brightest stars of Cygnus the Swan (also known as the Northern Cross) can be detected over the Great Pyramid. Photo taken at 6:45 p.m. EET.

Pyramid of Chephren coordinates: 29.983333, 31.133333

Earth Observatory images: