Sunday, October 8, 2017


Can you see it?

ISS transit over the moon?

Here in New England, we're at a low enough altitude that, on occasion, the International Space Station (ISS) will be visible in the night sky.   Usually in the hour or two before or after sunset, when the station can still reflect enough sunlight to be seen from the ground.   It looks like a satellite traveling fast across the sky.   

ISS in transit over the Boston night sky

Now, a friend at work let me know that ISS would transit the moon.    That is, the ISS would pass in front of the moon.   That would make a neat photograph.

First challenge - I only have a 300mm lens - would I see anything?

Second challenge - it was too far after sunset to see the ISS as a streak in the sky - would I be able to capture the ISS based on time alone?

I head out at the appointed time, set up the tripod, set exposure to get a decent moon shot.   Then wait.   

A few seconds before the appointed time, I get heartbroken.   Light clouds have arrived and occasionally obscure the moon.  I snap away for a few seconds before and a minute or so after, blindly hoping to get something.   Visually, I see nothing cross the moon.

The only way to tell if this was worth it is to get the photos into Lightroom and zoom away.  Once I all of the images resized and aligned I started scrolling through the images, and I saw it.   

Regular moon photo 

Something special on this shot.   The ISS?? 

Close enough for me!!   I think I did catch the station.   Your verdict?

Now, to contemplate buying a teleconverter for next time...

When will the ISS fly over you?   Visit the Spot the Station web site and sign up for alerts from NASA.

My friend used the CalSky site to find the moon transit.

Thanks for visiting!

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