Into the shadows

Tonight has been fun. There have been two passes of the International Space Station (ISS) and I have seen both. The first one was just before 10pm and it could be seen traversing the entire sky. The second was at 11:26 and I followed it from near the western horizon until it disappeared above Jupiter (south). The image below was an eight second exposure as the ISS disappeared into the Earth's shadow; it 'disappears' as it is no longer reflecting light from the Sun. It was travelling from west to east (right to left) and can be seen as a streak near the top of the image. Jupiter is the bright object above the guttering of my neighbour's house. The orange blob near the bottom of the image is just a reflection of a nearby streetlight in the lens. The orange effect is due to the ever increasing light pollution.

International Space Station

What made the second pass even better was that I managed to show it to three passers-by - one had only stopped to ask for directions. I took the opportunity to point out Jupiter and Saturn as well, as people often don't realise that they can see planets. I've been telling a few people about these passes, over the last few days. I like the idea that people in Kendal, Manchester, Leeds and Hatfield were all outside tonight watching as Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips zipped by at 7.7 km per second. There are still more chances to see ISS passes for the rest of the week although the sooner the better.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 10th May 2005 (23:19 UTC) | Permalink
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]