My first photo of the International Space Station

The International Space Station passed over London tonight. Yes, it passes over regularly but it can only be seen (easily) when it reflects the sun. Using the website Heavens-Above you’re able to perform these predictions with ease.

It was predicted to pass over at 5:45pm UTC with a magnitude of -1.9. This magnitude puts it brighter than the brightest star Sirius which clocks in at around -1.46 (A few notes about the Magnitude system are at the bottom of this post).

I only managed to get one photo during the time it appeared from the cloud and before it went out of the view of my balcony.

30 Second Exposure of the International Space Station
30 Second Exposure of the International Space Station

If you want to know a little more about the magnitude system, here are a few facts:

  • Lower (and into -ve) values are brighter
  • Higher values are dimmer
  • A difference of 5 units is 100 times brighter
  • A difference of 1 unit is 2.51 times brigther (5th root of 100)
  • A full moon gets to about -12.6
  • The sun on a clear day is about -26.7
  • Good binoculars can make out +9
  • The Hubble space telescope can make out +30
  • Click here for Wikipedia’s Article

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