Saturday, November 29, 2008

Space Shuttle STS-126

After a very long period of poor weather, this evening was clear enough to see some stars and...Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-126. The sky quality was poor though, with a lot of haze.

The first observation was in deep twilight, at 16:25 UTC. STS-126 was 1m 45s ahead of ISS, descending to the east as the ISS rose in the west. It was bright, at least -1.5. I captured both on a series of 4 second images. Below is a composite of two of these images, taken 1m45s apart and combined in to one picture:

(click image to enlarge)

The second pass was at 17:58 UTC, when it was completely dark. Both STS-126 and the ISS disappeared in the Earth shadow at 50 degree altitude. The Shuttle was very bright, at least mag. -2. Below are two images: one single shot of the Shuttle, and a second where this image is combined with a shot of the ISS taken 1m 50s later. One can see from the latter, that STS-126 was almost as bright as the ISS:

(click images to enlarge)

I also captured Lacrosse 2 (91-017A), which manoeuvred a few days ago, on photograph. To my surprise, as I failed to see it naked eye, I also have Progress-M65 faintly on photograph.

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