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. 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

Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published.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