Space Station Pass | Plus Three

An email notified me of a pass over my region by the International Space Station. The large bright object is always fun to see as it crosses the sky. First visibility was at 6:15 pm in the southwest low in the tree branches at the lower right of the image. It rose higher in the southern sky toward the upper left and passed the Moon in the southeastern sky. There is disappeared as it went into the darkness of the Earth’s shadow.

I used an application on my iPad called NightCap Camera to record a time exposure of nearly 5 minutes. It has a setting designed to capture ISS passes. With the iPad pointed almost due south, it recorded more than the ISS. A passenger plane with its blinking lights moved right-to-left across the field of view starting under the edge of the roofline. A few moments later another plane moved, this time left-to-right, parallel to the first. I kept recording the image. When I examined the image later, I noticed another object had entered the frame from the top before I closed the shutter. It was probably a polar orbiting satellite. I hadn’t noticed it as it was quite dim in the sky.

Sometimes you get surprised with more than expected. I like when serendipity happens.

Click to embiggen

9 thoughts on “Space Station Pass | Plus Three

  1. Well, well. I don’t have an iPhone, but I have an iPad. I just looked at that app, and thought, “Maybe…” How did you secure the iPad? I presume that handheld wouldn’t work — but maybe I’m wrong. I’m pretty much clueless when it comes to such things.

    By the way, did you read about Voyager I firing up its four trajectory thrusters? Stories like that are so compelling. Don’t you wish our country had some trajectory thrusters? 🙂

    And speaking of serendipity, here’s one for you and Melanie. I was sitting in a friend’s kitchen in the hill country just before Thanksgiving when she said, “You ought to try that milk in the gallon jug in your coffee.” When I asked why, she said that it not only was whole milk, it still had the cream on the top, and needed to be shaken before use.

    She’d puchased it at Whole Foods in San Antonio. When I saw the name, I couldn’t believe it: Kalona SuperNatural. As far as I know, there’s only one Kalona in the world, and it’s pretty much in your backyard. We used to detour through there occasionally from our way from Illinois to home.

    To make it all even better, when I looked up Kalona, I found it billed as “the quilt capital of southeastern Iowa.” And, on the page publicizing their quilt festival, there was a photo of a round quilt — just what I said I’d never seen.

    How’s that for serendipity?

    • I read the serendipity part to Melanie. She was amused.

      I set the iPad on the ground for the photo. Hand holding wouldn’t work in the dark. It might yield an interesting picture, tho.

      I see in your next comment you have the app. It is quite easy to use. The presets on the Star ⭐️ on the right side make it easy to get good shots.

      The camera on the back is higher quality than the one on the front of my iPad Air 2. I have some lengths of sticks used to prop up the iPad in its case for the angles I need. That allows use of the back camera. I use the volume control button on the Bluetooth keyboard as the shutter release.

      Good luck with it. Holler if you have questions. I might be able to help.

    • I had not seen that about the thrusters. Very cool. And, yes, we need trajectory control more than ever. God help us.

  2. Well, that was easy. I’ve got the app, and I’ve gone through the basic tutorial. No time to play now, but I’m glad for the tip.

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