Sunday, December 02, 2007

ISS Flybys

The International Space Station (ISS) passed almost directly overhead on Wednesday and Friday evenings. I noticed that the ISS was going to almost "hit" the bright star, Deneb, in the Norther Cross, as seen from our back yard.
I did some playing around and found a spot just North of 1000 Steps where the ISS should pass directly in front of Deneb. Sandra and I zoomed out there. We marveled at how dark sky was compared to Hato, and enjoyed the first cloudless evening in a long long time.

With our naked eye, the ISS appeared to graze Deneb. In this picture, taken with a 400mm lens, it was a miss, but a near miss to be sure. I've labeled the stars with their Tycho catalog numbers. I'm still going to do some checking to try to figure out the scale of the picture.
The ISS went from left to right in the picture. You can see a wiggle at the left end of the ISS trail, probably from when the mirror went up and the shutter opened. My tripod was especially wiggly that night, but I didn' t have time to tighten it up. I generally lock the mirror up and take the picture two seconds later, but in this case I needed to have better control of the timing, in order to capture the ISS passing the star.

No comments: