ISS and the Sisters

Click on picture for full-screen size

Click on picture to see it full-screen size

   This morning was rather cool as September mornings go with few clouds but mostly clear skes and many stars. My plan was to follow the ISS as it orbited over the midwest starting with its appearance above the southwest horizon and then following its flight path past the open star cluster the Pleiades to very near the bright star Capella in the constellation of Auriga, and then on to the northeast horizon where it was no longer at an angle to reflect sunlight from the solar panels. That plan worked out well although I got distracted by my dog Tyler and missed the picture during the Capella flyby. Nonetheless I captured a nice exposure of the ISS flying past the Pleiades.
   This was an awesome fly over as it lasted nearly 5 minutes and at its maximum elevation the ISS was at 88 degrees, or almost straight overhead. For the exposures this morning I had the camera set for 8-second exposures, at F5.6, and ISO at 1600.

Click on picture to see it full screen.

Click on picture to see it full screen.

   Part of the exciting things about this pastime is that while waiting for the ‘main event’ several other satellites flew by. I didn’t have the camera aimed where the ISS first appeared but as it rose above the southwest horizon another satellite crossed ISS’s path at right angles. Additionally as I was setting up the camera and taking a few test exposures another satellite, the Cosmos 1812 flew past the stars of the open star cluster the Hyades as this picture shows. That satellite is a Soviet ‘spy’ satellite that was launched in 1987. This picture has been digitally enhanced. Click here to see the original.

   I use a variety of programs and web sites for tracking and planning my pictures. Typically I use an App on my Kindle, ISS Detector Pro, the ISS Sightings web site, SATVIEW web site (see banner picture), and the Starry Night software.

   Click here to read about and see additional pictures of the ISS and Iridium flares.

   Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.

1 thought on “ISS and the Sisters

  1. Pingback: Tracking Satellites: An App | Bob's Spaces

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