Night Sky Photography – ISS Flyover

Not my usual kind of nature photography, but I do enjoy studying the night sky. On a whim I recently decided to see if I could catch the International Space Station passing between the Moon and us, and sure enough, less than a week later it was predicted to transit the Moon, and I could see it from my own back yard! So, on September 27th, I set up my small telescope and camera to try and photograph the ISS flyby.

This is a composite image of 12 frames I captured of the ISS transiting the Moon.

This enlargement of one image shows the ISS passing between the Moon and us. My kids said it looks like a TIE Fighter from Star Wars.

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Peggy’s Cove Nova Scotia

A few years ago we were on a family trip to the Maritimes and wanted to spend some time along the coast. We spent some time in Halifax and headed down to Peggy’s Cove. This is one of the most photographed locations on the East Coast, and we were travelling with family, so I didn’t initially want to take a lot of time to photograph the area. While my extended family and my kids were exploring around the Lighthouse, my wife suggested I head down to the harbour and town to get some pictures. I said there wasn’t really any point, as it has been photographed so much, but she replied “But no one has done it in your way”. Perhaps so, and I walked down from the lighthouse, and captured some of the best images of my career.

The sky was amazing that day. Peggy’s Cove is near the flight path to Halifax’s International Airport, and the contrails made great patterns in the sky.

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Eclipse!

Eclipse Progression 3-2

A total eclipse probably shouldn’t happen. I say “probably” because the probability is too small. After all, we are the only known planet that has a moon just the right size and distance to provide a perfect total solar eclipse where the moon just barely covers the sun, allowing the viewer to see the corona and prominences. It also happens to be the only place where there is someone to see it.

The moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but it is also 400 times closer, making them roughly the same apparent size in our sky, depending on eccentricities of the orbits. This has allowed us to discover so much about the sun, moon, our own planet and the universe long before we had the technology of modern telescopes and spacecraft. If the size of the sun or moon, or the distance to the moon and sun were off even a bit, a perfect total eclipse would not be possible. Yet, perfect total solar eclipses happen because of this perfect combination. This alone should give us pause as we watch in wonder. But not only are they astounding and awe-inspiring for this fact alone, total eclipses are strange and beautiful and they are wonderful to experience!

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