Thursday, March 10, 2011

Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station Flyover 3/8/2011

I was wondering about the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station the other day and Googled them to find this site which helps track them.

I registered so that it knew where I'm located and could tell me the location of the ISS. I found that on the 8th, the ISS was going to pass directly overhead shortly after sunset at 7:20 to 7:24 PM. I also found out that the Space Shuttle Discovery was also going to be going overhead shortly thereafter. What a rare occurence and both should be easily visible!

I dropped the girls off at karate class and headed out to the field in the back of the school which unfortunately had bright sodium vapor (orange colored) lights flooding the field, but I didn't have the time to go anywhere else. I tried to find a somewhat darker spot and pointed my camera skyward. Precisely as described, Discovery came zooming up out of the West and headed directly overhead followed closely by the ISS! They could not be filed at the same time, but I got a series of pictures of them passing.

First up, Space Shuttle Discovery. The image shows Discovery travelling from bottom to top as my camera was pointing West. You can see Cassiopeia just to the right of the shuttle trail. The trail looks like it's heading straight for Mirphak.

Here, Discovery is heading just past Mirphak and heading by Capella and through the constellation Uriga. You can see the Pleiades (star cluster) on the left side of the image.

Here's Discovery going East from top to bottom towards the horizon. It's going right past Regulus.

Here's the International Space Station closely behind with the glowing moon and the spreading cloud cover quickly approaching. Another half an hour and I would have been severely clouded over!

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