Friday, December 30, 2011

Footage of the ISS with Andre Kuipers on board passing over Leiden, 30 December



The footage above was shot by me this evening (30 December 2011, evening twilight, around 16:38 UTC = 17:38 local time). It shows the International Space Station (ISS) with Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers on board, passing right over my observatory in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The movie was shot using a sensitive WATEC 902H camera and F1.4/12mm lens (this is not the best of lenses in terms of sharpness, but it has a relatively wide FOV of 30 degrees that suited this case. This lens provides a reasonably good approximation of the typical visual view as well in that the limiting magnitude of the movie is similar to that with the naked eye).

I had actually almost missed this pass, as I was busy with another task and lost track of time. So I had to set up my equipment rather in a hurry, with no time to start up and synchronize the GPS time inserter. As usual (and also because I do not yet ahve a "routine"with this new equipment) I initially had an "issue" in getting an image on the laptop monitor: when I finally had an image and could focus, the ISS was already in the sky, ascending at 45 degrees elevation in the west.The sky was still a bit bright from twilight, and some hazy clouds were in the sky.

The footage picks up the ISS in northern Cygnus, shows the ISS as it ascends and goes through the zenith, passing over Pegasus and into Andromeda and next descends through the triangle towards the east, disappearing behind the roof of the house.

I am happy to have this footage at all, as the weather is abominably bad this month.

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