Monday, May 25, 2009

International Space Station (ISS) - Into Earth's Shadow

I frequently monitor Heavens Above to see if there's any upcoming satellite passes worth seeing. Tonight was one of the brighter showings of the International Space Station (ISS), with apparent magnitude -2.3, just dimmer than the maximum brightness of Jupiter. It started in the west-northwest, rising to 69 degrees in the south sky.

For whatever reason, I was waiting with my camera pointed too far to the east, trying to get a shot of the satellite rising over some houses. Right as I was scratching my head trying to find the thing, I finally saw (don't ask me how I originally missed it) the Big Dipper, which points me to the North Star (since I'm a star-gazing newbie).

Brief aside: the North Star is the center of this previous star trail shot I took last year.

Just as I realize I'm pointed in the wrong direction, I see the space station moving quickly across the sky. I was able to swing around and capture it as it faded into the Earth's shadow. In this shot, the ISS is moving downward as it fades into darkness.

Shot with:
Canon 40D, 10-22mm
Bogen 190XPROB Tripod Legs, 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead.

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