Space Visitors


The International Space Station and space shuttle (docked) passing nearly overhead 5:42 p.m. this evening; they moved from southwest (bottom right) to northeast (top left). Forty second time exposure; pretty sure the brighter stars just to the left of the vehicles’ path are part of the great square of Pegasus.

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4 Replies to “Space Visitors”

  1. Hi dan…I have been watching this too. I saw the shuttle and ISS last October, as they flew over Wanganui (NZ). For me, it was one of those “gee-whiz” moments, seeing the two (manned) vehicles; one behind the other; passing through the Southern Cross; high out over the Tasman Sea. I was dying to find someone to share that with. Alas, I was on my own, imagining what Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Keppler would think if they could see that! The ability to do this sort of thing is one of our country’s great gifts.
    There will be an oppportunity in the next few days to simultaneously see the two vwehicles in the same section of sky.

  2. Well, I think you’re the one who got me into looking up the shuttle/space station schedule and going out and watching for them. Last night’s passage was a good one–they were visible fairly low in the southwest sky and passed nearly directly overhead (I couldn’t locate the camera mount for our tripod, so I resorted to putting the camera on top of a ladder, pointing straight up, to get a steady picture; I got a couple other shots that are shaky but still kind of cool because of the lighting; I’ll attach them). According to the schedule I found online, the shuttle and space station will undock at 5:09 p.m. your time; 29 minutes later, the shuttle will do a separation burn, and 14 minutes after that (5:52) the craft will be 600 feet apart; I wonder if you could tell they were apart then; I imagine you could. In any case, there will be two more separation burns over the next hour; there will be a visible pass over the Bay Area, low in the northwest and northern skies, just after 6 p.m. The NASA sighting schedule suggests they’ll be only a minute apart at that point and will take a couple minutes to fly by. I’m going to try to get pictures and will post them if it works out.

  3. I went out tonight(to Coney Island) with Sean and saw the ISS/shuttle pass over the city. At this point the two vehicles were 600 feet apart but to my eye they looked like one object. Sean said he could tell it was two separate objects (young eyes)saying it looked to him like a figure-eight. Anyway, I’m always impressed with this.

  4. PS…I love this photo. As an abstract image it holds up beautifully. The light fade, specks of white and the diagonal line bisecting the rectangle are a striking composition.

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