Tuesday, October 29, 2013

-3.4 Magnitude ISS Pass over Central Indiana

Last night, the International Space Station made another super bright pass over my apartment in Brownsburg, Indiana. It came out of the NW sky, flying directly toward my apartment balcony, and maxing out at an altitude of 83° above the horizon (almost directly overhead).

I got as much of the pass as I could from my balcony. I used my wide angle 18-55mm lens (18mm) to get as much of the sky as possible in frame.

After the ISS went over the roof, I took my dog outside to watch the rest of the pass overhead. I got a call from my brother who was outside watching as well. He said it was his first time spotting the ISS thanks to my text message a few minutes before the pass began. Neat!

space station fly over
Stack of several 10 second exposures at ISO 400, f/4.0, 18mm. I filled in the small gaps between frames in Photoshop to make one continuous trail. 
I left my camera out after the pass to get some star trails (and just in case, you never know what interesting thing you might catch in the night sky). I ended up with a bunch of planes and helicopters. It looks like way too much work to clean up to get long trails with just the ISS pass. That's what happens when you live near an airport and about a dozen hospitals.

The next morning I noticed a lot of contrails overhead - more than usual anyway. I snapped a pic and noticed later on that the skies look remarkably similar (except for the stars of course). I guess day or night, the sky is a busy place.

busy sky
Stack of 509 frames, each at 10 sec, ISO 400, f/4.0, 18mm - next to single iPhone photo
I really like how the sunlight is lighting up the fountain, and some birds flew into view to add to the busy scene

Check the website Heavens Above for ISS predictions in your area. Remember, it's going around our planet every 90 min or so, but it's not always catching the light.

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