Thursday, December 6, 2018

There are humans in this photo

A photo of the International Space Station. Yesterday, it made in appearance above Vancouver for about 4 minutes, peaking almost directly overhead. Looking at it through a 300mm lens, it zooms from one end of my field of view to the other in about five seconds.  It occupies about 40 of the 97 pixels in width of my original photo.

Until someone lands on the moon, this will be the furthest a human being will ever be in one of my photos. At about 400 km away and 109 metres wide, taking this photo is like taking a photo of a football field in Portland, Oregon (if the earth's curvature weren't in the way).  Oh, and it's travelling through space at 27,000km/h, so it'd span the distance from Portland to here in about the time it took you to read this far (just under a minute).

There are a few reasons why manmade satellites like the ISS aren't always visible.  The shadow of the earth gets in the way except much of the time. But also, many satellites aren't easily visible to the naked eye unless their solar panels are oriented in just the right way to reflect sunlight.  And of course in Vancouver, clear skies are often a challenge.

You'll have a chance to see it tomorrow (the 7th) night for about 6 minutes as well.

We have a Canadian on board at the moment, Quebec-born David Saint-Jacques. Bonjour, monsieur.

1 comment:

Bella Sinclair said...

Whaaaaat? That's crazy! Wow, nice capture!