On May 16, 2011, the Space Shuttle Endeavour
launched into space for the last time. STS 134, as the mission was labeled, was a success, bringing a scientific instrument called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
to the International Space Station, as well as other equipment. Being the second-to-last Shuttle launch of all time, there was a huge crowd of people taking pictures, but no image I've seen came close to this one by photographer Trey Ratcliff, who captured the towering cloud of exhaust capped by the glow of the engines just as the Shuttle went through a low cloud deck. The beauty, and quite literal other-worldliness of this photo makes it stand out as one of the best Shuttle launch pictures ever taken.