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Tuesday, June 03, 2014

ISS and a meteor from Kitt Peak

Tonight featured a very nice, relatively bright pass of the International Space Station overhead.  Ever since I was a young boy watching SkyLab fly over, I've almost always waved at a manned spacecraft that I watched fly overhead.  It's cool to think of the humans aboard that little light silently zipping across the sky.  I am on Kitt Peak tonight in the middle of 8 nights up here.  The last 6 nights are at "home" at the Spacewatch Telescopes.  I took my Canon 70D outside with my 10mm f/2.8 fisheye lens so that I could catch the moonlit cirrus along with all things celestial and some domes and it worked great in a series of 30 second exposures at ISO 400.  The Moon is surrounded by a halo which the ISS flew through in a couple frames before this shot.  This shot is special not just because of the bright trail of the ISS on the right half o the frame above the 90 inch and 4-meter telescopes, but also because a meteor trail appears to the left of the ISS and to the right of the Moon, just going into the faintish lunar halo.  Some recognizable constellations are in the sky as well, just left and above the ISS trail is the Big Dipper.  The sharp eyed amongst you will be able to spot the Little Dipper and Leo as well.  Besides the 90 inch and 4-meter domes at right, you can see the Spacewatch 36 inch dome just right of center and below the Moon is the "Super-LOTUS" which observes gamma ray bursts from its roll off dome.

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