Gillette mines seen from the International Space Station in December 2015. (NASA)

An astronaut on the International Space Station using a Nikon D4 digital camera and a 13 pound, 1,150 mm lens and teleconverter took this picture of Gillette coal mines on Dec. 28, 2015. The longer runway at the Gillette airport visible at the bottom of the photograph measures 0.9 miles. Morning light cast shadows from the edges of the mine pits. The angular gashes attracted the attention of the astronaut, who had no problem handling the camera and lens since they were weightless. Parts of Gillette, one of the eastern Wyoming towns rattled by layoffs in the past week, can also be seen in the image. NASA promotes the use of its pictures on the Internet and offers access to a high resolution copy of this photo.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *