SkyStef's weather & aviation page
Picture of the month April 2009
|Composite picture of the ISS taken at Kampenhout on March 24 and 25 2009, time in local time (= UTC +1 hour)|
|The International Space Station (ISS)
circles around the Earth and is since November 2000 manned by an
international crew. Sixteen countries participate in the project. A first
module was launched in 1998 and around 50 transports (via the Space Shuttle
or Russian spacecraft.) are needed to complete this scientific research
station. It is currently so large that, although at an altitude of around 350
km above the ground, it can be easy identified by the naked eye as a bright
yellow dot when traveling in the dusk or nightly sky.
One of these opportunities was taken to make some pictures via my telescope with a focal length of 2400 mm. Cams shutter speed was 1/640 seconds and the iso was set at 1600. On this occasion, the Space Shuttle "Discovery" was docked as well. Some luck is needed to actually see the Space Shuttle, however with the naked eye this is almost impossible. Via photographs more details can be obtained, and depending on the angle of sunlight and position of the Shuttle, it may reveal itself.
In the left picture, lots of detail of the ISS, giving a clear view on the brown-orange colored solar panels and white radiators. The Shuttle is seen from behind, and the dark area suggests this may be the engine area. On the right picture taken one day later, the ISS itself was pictured as a less pronounced feature (due to fading sunlight), but the angle of sun and position of Shuttle were quite good to have a distinct view of the spacecraft, and it is seen from behind & slightly above.
More pictures via this link
List of pictures of the month