Great Night – SpaceX Dragon Demo-2 & A 22 Degree Halo!

As you know, I’m a bit of a space fan and watched in awe the launch of SpaceX Dragon Demo-2 this evening. For those that don’t know, this is the first manned flight to the ISS onboard the SpaceX Dragon, so a big deal for NASA to have launches back on US soil. I decided to go outside in hope to see Dragon fly over, I watched the ISS approach and 5 minutes later Dragon came flying across the sky. I wasn’t expecting it to be so bright so didn’t set a camera up. There was to be another flyby just before midnight, but haze and clouds had rolled in. I set the camera up and pointed in the direction I was expecting it to come. I just about saw the ISS as it approached and disappeared above the clouds. I triggered the camera on a timelapse to keep shooting and although I didn’t spot Dragon on the flyby, the camera did as I had increased the ISO to capture more light than I could make out.

Imagine my joy when I checked back and there was a trail! I successfully recorded a trail of SpaceX Dragon Demo-2, a little bit of history recorded!

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ISS Directly Overhead Tonight

After all the recent storms, it was great to be outside at night and a pass be the International Space Station was a good excuse to set the camera up. It was a very bright viewing as it was directly overhead, however, this made it tough to frame it from the house but here is a long exposure, actually 4 long exposures stitched together to give a trail as it cross the sky at almost 8 kilometres per second at a height of around 400 kilometres.

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International Space Station (ISS) At Twilight

At 6pm this evening an email came through from alerting me of the ISS passing over at 6:20pm. A quick look outside and there was a nice orange glow to the twilight. I checked the path of the ISS and it was approaching from the North West and passing to the South East, straight across my view of the twilight.

I set the camera up in the garden with some Yucca Plants to frame the shot and waited.

Soon enough, the bright ISS came into frame. I took four 20 second shots and merged them together to create this image of the light streak as it flies over head at 27600kmh, yes that’s almost 8km every second!

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International Space Station (ISS) at Twilight
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International Space Station During Twilight

This evening, the International Space Station (ISS) passed over right at Civil Twilight (the time of sunset where humans required artificial lighting) which made a perfect scene.

It was due to pass to the North-West so I setup the camera on the front terrace and took a guess of it’s path, using tracking website as my guide. I also have pass notifications configured to email me in advance of passes.

This photo is 5 separate 20 second exposures stitched together in Photoshop. The long exposures give the light trail as it moves at almost 28,000kph on it’s orbit.

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International Space Station (ISS) Above The Algarve Serra
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