Moon Picture + Space station?


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 08:11

My wife and I were out last night at about 9PM, still light though but the moon was clear so she decided to take a few shots...
She happened to notice an aircraft going quite fast across the moon so she snapped it.
If you look at the bottom of the moon in the picture you can see the "hardware" there, it certainly is far too angular to be an aircraft and was also really shifting which makes me think it was the Space Station....
Shot taken on a Pentax K5 with a 55-300 WR zoom @300mm

What do you think? has anyone got access to the overfly times of the space station?

A few bits & Bobs


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 08:56
Unfortunately looks a bit like a very small artefact from the size of image that's uploaded! Any chance of a 'blown-up' crop section to see more clearly?


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 08:57
Personally I am doubtful it is the space station, certainly when taken with a 300mm lens.

You can check where it was visible here:

Normally it just looks like a bright fast moving light. Brighter than most satellites, but otherwise with a similar movement.

The ISS is not visible for me in the Netherlands at the moment. I don't know where you are.
Last Edited by Gwyn on 07/07/2014 - 09:00


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 09:14
highly recommend this link

Put in your location and you can get events tailored to your exact position.

The ISS link is the international space station and once you get in there you're looking for the lowest Magnitude/Brightness value. That seems counter intuitive I know -3.2 for example is a really bright pass overhead.

Then look for times when it will suit you, usually like around 7:30pm to 11:00pm depending on your situation.

Also look for entries with the highest max elevation/altitude. 90 degrees is straight up from your location. 15 degrees is essentially right on the horizon etc.

If you then clink on an entry you get a map that will guide you if you hold it up above your head and align it to north.

Hope those very quick instructions help somewhat.

Frankly I doubt you'd get that level of detail with a 300mm lens. At night time the station looks like a bright star moving slowly initially and then really quickly when it's right above you.

The site looks a bit clunky but the content is very powerful.
Last Edited by richandfleur on 07/07/2014 - 09:15


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 09:15
On reflection in this zoomed in picture it does look like an aircraft, but it didn't appear to be last night, nor did its trajectory seem to be in keeping with is attitude...

200% zoom

A few bits & Bobs


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 09:44
Looks slightly like the Starship Enterprise...


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 11:02
That's what I was thinking too!



Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 11:34
I've no idea what it is, and cant add any more theories. But what a nice thread you posted...
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses



Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 11:49
andy_bell wrote:
On reflection in this zoomed in picture it does look like an aircraft, but it didn't appear to be last night, nor did its trajectory seem to be in keeping with is attitude...

200% zoom

Definitely a plane. Wish it was the Starship Enterprise though .


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 11:57
Looks like a T-Tailed aircraft flying from left to right and nose pointing slightly up as seen in picture. Maybe a 146 or C17 cargo lifter something of that general appearance.

The Space Station appears as a very bright light moving reasonably fast and in a fixed arc..very impressive when you see it. I believe you can also see the Chinese equivalent from the ground as well although not as bright.


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 19:42
Well if you say it was moving too fast for a plane I believe you. It does resemble something akin to a C17 apart from the tail seems disproportionately large.

Cool pic

Sometimes I'm serious and sometimes not, but I consider sarcasm an artform. Which is it today?


Link Posted 07/07/2014 - 20:05
was it the one featured in The Sport "newspaper" all those years ago....?


Link Posted 08/07/2014 - 00:10
It's Boing C17 Globemaster.

Best regards


Link Posted 10/07/2014 - 12:32
richandfleur wrote:
highly recommend this link

Thanks for that link, very useful.
Real name: Mike Edwards. My homage to seventies Vauxhalls:

Camera - Pentax Kx, 18-55 kit lens, 18-200 Sigma, 50-500 Sigma, 500mm Tamron mirror
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