European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet is on a quest to photograph the Egyptian pyramids at Giza from the tricky vantage point of the International Space Station. Pesquet hopes to capture the Great Pyramid and its smaller neighbors, but so far, his camera crusade hasn't panned out.
Pesquet posted a photograph of two pyramids to Twitter on Friday, but they're not the ones he was searching for. "Thought I finally had the pyramids, but these are the smaller ones further south. Gosh they're not easy to spot from space! Still looking ;)," Pesquet wrote.
The pyramids Pesquet captured are known as the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid, both of which are still impressive structures. Though it's not evident in Pesquet's photo, the Red Pyramid sports a vaguely reddish color from its limestone construction and the Bent Pyramid has a twisted appearance.
While the Great Pyramid is a hulking building when you're on the ground on Earth, it's tiny when seen from orbit. The ISS also moves at a fast clip of over 17,000 mph (27,400 kph). Now add the difficulty of aiming a camera at just the right spot and you can see why Pesquet is facing such a challenge.
Pesquet isn't the only astronaut to take on the daunting quest of photographing the pyramids from space. We know it can be done. NASA astronaut Terry Virts pulled off the feat in style shortly before returning to Earth in 2015.
Even if Pesquet can find the pyramids he's after, it will be hard to top Virts' impressively clear take on the challenge. He has until his scheduled return to Earth in May to pull it off.
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