International Space Station (and Space Shuttle)   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT  

The International Space Station (ISS) is such a bright object that it can be seen passing overhead in the night sky from even the most light-polluted urban areas. You just need to know when and where to look. is a good place to obtain this information.

One evening, Laurie and I decided to try to get some pictures through my 12-inch Meade, just to see if we could do it. She controlled the camera, which took a picture every 10 seconds, and I looked through the finderscope and tried to center this fast-moving object in the crosshairs. It was not easy to do--some of the shots missed the ISS completely, and in others it was a complete blur. A few of our better images are shown here.

The left image was taken when the ISS was almost directly overhead, and the others were taken over the next 3 minutes as it drifted away toward the northeast. In the last image, the ISS was disappearing into the Earth's shadow. (The Space Shuttle was docked at the ISS at this time. I don't know if its outline is part of what is seen in these pictures.)

Image details:  1/250-second exposures at ISO 1600 with a Canon 400D camera and a Meade 12-inch telescope at f/10.

March 17, 2009, 7:42-7:45 pm EDT