Wednesday, June 20, 2007

International Space Station Sighting!

I don't know that I've ever posted three times in one day, but this event warranted this post. Tonight, about 10:35 EDT, Romie and I stood outside in the middle of our road with our next-door neighbors and watched the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Atlantis travel overhead. Just today, Atlantis undocked from the Space Station, and is due to land back on Earth on Thursday.

At their highest elevation that we could see here, they were 60° off the horizon, which seemed to be pretty much overhead, only better, because you could look up and watch them without getting a crook in your neck. It only took them about three minutes to traverse the sky until we couldn't see them anymore. It's pretty amazing that we could see them at all, considering they were 220 miles above us.

I ran in the house and grabbed my camera, but only half expected to get any kind of image, especially without a tripod. For the first picture, I just plopped myself right down on the grass on my back and snapped the shutter release. Being so dark, I knew I'd get some trailing of light because the shutter stayed open for several seconds, but it's still kind of neat that I captured them.

The second picture was taken when I was standing on the road looking up at them just before they disappeared from our sight. Very little trailing on this one, and I'm not sure why that is, since I was even less stabilized when taking this one.

I'm so fascinated by the night sky.


Anonymous said...

Oh! That is so cool!!

Muum said...

We saw it last night, too - my husband loves astronomy, so we saw it night before last at a lower angled orbit, and then last night in a lovely high arc. It was fun watching one 'following' the other across the sky.

kate said...

These are just beautiful shots ... I love how you were able to capture these images.

Anonymous said...

I didn't see it, there a haze in the sky, and now I am wondering if anyone in Maine got to see it. A fox walked past me while I was outdoors, though!

joey said...

What a thrill! I saw it last night also. When they announced on the news that it was flying by, I quickly raced out the door but forgot my camera. Lucky you ... to have captured the moment! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's awesome! I've seen shuttle launches but never something like that!

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