- What is this (blurred) thing that can be seen to the right of the frame in this photograph?
(some versions crop it out)
- It is a photograph taken from Soyuz TM-21 of Mir and STS-71 Atlantis docked in 1995.
(Soyuz TM-21 undocked at 1055 hrs, Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-71 undocked at 1109 hrs, so the crew of Soyuz TM-21 had maybe around 10 minutes to get these photographs)
- I have looked at numerous photos, looked at the various 3D models, and pondered obscure angles.
So far, given where the windows are on the Soyuz, I do not think it is the (pilot) periscope - which also has a square-like head as opposed to the round shape as in the photo.
Closest I can think of is:
- that the view is towards aft, and it caught the end antenna of the solar panel.
(except it does not look like that - unless TM-21 had a different kind of antenna on the panel tip?)
- that the view is forward and up and you see the rear part of the 2ASF-M-VKA, 1 of a pair mounted on the Orbital segment for the Kurs docking system.
- and no longer visible
This is the actual Soyuz used for the photo opportunity:
'Solar panel wing tip antenna' is my current thinking, as I do not know what else it could be...
Different Soyuz with different tip devices.