Monday, March 31, 2008

ATV-1 "Jules Verne" and ISS chasing each other in the sky

This evening was clear, albeit with occasional patches of low clouds passing. I observed the KeyHole USA 186 (05-042A) and the NOSS duo's 3-3 (05-004A & C) and 3-4 (07-027A & C).

The highlight of the night were however the European cargo ship ATV-1 "Jules Verne" and the International Space Station ISS chasing each other in the sky. They made a pass at 22:12 local time (20:12 UTC) going into eclipse close to the zenith. The ATV lead the ISS by about 15 seconds in time. It was about mag. +1, while the ISS was about -3 to -4.

I started the camera a bit too early and as a result the early part of the ISS trail was outside the image. Yet the image is still nice:

(click image to enlarge)

The reddish blot is a wisp of cloud, and stars visible are in Gemini, with Castor and Pollux.

The camera I used by the way is a new one, which I purchased last Sunday. It hence still needs to be calibrated. Like my previous camera it is a compact camera from the Canon Digital Ixus family again, but a newer improved model: the Canon Digital Ixus 75. It is a 7.1 megapixel camera (my older camera was 4.0 megapixel).

Earlier in the evening I photographed a -2 flare of Iridium 12 with it:

(click image to enlarge)

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