United Airlines' Boeing 737-800 with the special 'Star Wars' livery sits on the ramp at George Bush (Houston) International Airport. (Photo submitted by Victor Gutierrez)

Photos of the Week: Out of This World

It’s hard to imagine now, but not too long ago, the very concept of powered aircraft seemed like science fiction. People zooming through the air from one place to another? Might as well have been talking about aliens in spaceships.

As we all know, human beings finally figured it out, and now getting halfway around the world in half a day is old hat. Even trips to the moon aren’t that novel anymore. (More people have walked on the lunar surface than have hit home runs out of Dodger Stadium—look it up.)

But air and space travel continue to fascinate us, and science fiction is still responsible for inspiring so many of us to dream. Sometimes that means imagining ourselves as, say, a Jedi Knight fighting the Empire in “Star Wars.” United Airlines’ special “Star Wars” livery salutes those dreams, and Victor Gutierrez’s photo from George Bush (Houston) International Airport gives the unique Boeing 737 a seemingly intergalactic milieu.

Prior to science fiction, however, mankind had myths. Natural phenomena that couldn’t be explained by the science of the era were given supernatural meaning.

So if we saw something like Matt Grossman’s photo of his plane’s shadow at the center of the optical phenomenon known as a “glory” shortly after taking off from Miami International Airport for Peru, we might have thought it was a sign from the gods. We certainly feel blessed to have it as one of our Photos of the Week.

Thanks, Victor and Matt!

Our readers continue to pass along shots of unique aircraft, international airports, historical events, gorgeous views and even family vacation photos for this feature. We love them! Keep them coming—you can click here for submission guidelines.

The shadow of an American Airlines flight departing from Miami International Airport is caught at the center of a “glory,” a circular optical phenomenon similar to a rainbow. (Photo submitted by Matt Grossman)

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