Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Video: ATV 3 'Edouardo Amaldi', a meteor, and the ISS this morning

This morning I was up early to capture the 3:29 UTC (5:29 am CEST) pass of ESA's space freighter ATV-3 "Edouardo Amaldi". This was just before the start of twilight, so the sky was still dark and several stars can be seen on the video. The video was shot from the center of Leiden town, from the east-facing window of my girlfriend's  appartment. Camera: WATEC 902H + 1.4/12mm lens.

The ATV emerged from Earth shadow at about 38 degrees elevation in the E-SE. Initially mag. +1, it was easily visible by the naked eye, then faded as it descended towards the horizon.

The movie also features footage of a nice 3-second meteor that appeared only a few minutes before the ATV pass: as well as footage of the ISS passing the same sky area about 30 minutes before the ATV.

 Brightest star in the FOV is Altair (alpha Aquila), with the stars of the Arrow just upper left of the center, and stars of the Dolphin near the GPS clock.

Below is also a photographic image, a 6-second exposure with the Canon EOS 450D + EF 2.5/50 mm Macro lens, showing the ATV on the border of Aquila and Sagitta.

click image to enlarge

Note: with a special "thank you!" to Laurent Arzel at ESA ATV CC-flight dynamics for providing timely orbit forecasts!

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