International Space Station in 2003

6 Apr 2003

Clear skies and a succession of evening passes gave plenty of opportunity to catch the space station in late March and early April. Took several pictures, the most interesting being those of this night...

ISS approaches the Moon, 6 Apr 2003

A 30 second exposure shows the ISS rising in the west and heading directly for the crescent Moon, greatly over-exposed in this long exposure. Unfortunately I did not catch the moment on camera but the ISS passed directly in front of the Moon.

It then continued on a course almost exactly along the ecliptic, passing close to Saturn (near the top of the picture) and a minute after that close to Jupiter (see below).

In the above shot, the Moon and Saturn lie in the constellation of Taurus, with the Pleiades (Seven Sisters) and V-shaped Hyades star clusters to the right and left respectively of the ISS trail.

In the lower shot the ISS, by now bright as it passed nearly overhead, travels east (R to L) through the Praesepe (Beehive) star cluster in the constellation of Cancer, then immediately past Jupiter. The close conjunction between Jupiter and Praesepe is better seen in this picture from 16th Apr (for more on Jupiter see the 2003 Gallery). The ISS was of similar brightness to Jupiter (magnitude -2.4) but its fast movement of course makes it appear fainter than the planet in the shot.

Above: 6 Apr 2003, 20:51BST (19:51UT). Minolta Dimage 7, 7mm, 28s @ f/2.8, ISO200

Below: 6 Apr 2003, 20:53BST (19:53UT). Minolta Dimage 7, 27mm, 30s @ f/3.4, ISO200

ISS passes Jupiter, 16 Apr 2003


Last Year ISS Gallery

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