Thursday, April 3, 2008

International Space Station, Endeavor space shuttle and a red surprise photo

I've seen the ISS and Space Shuttle recently. But in 2004, I took an unexpected photo that I nicknamed the "Red Surprise." Comet Ikeya- Zhang was a fine comet in 2004 that I photographed and saw with my naked eye too. I took some pictures with one of the robotic telescope I use and waited for the next days pic. I was the comet in my picture on the right. Since I took it with a red filter there was not much of its tail showing. But what were thought 3 streaks diagonally on the left? I had no clue. So I used my Starry Night Pro software to find out. Finding that date and time, I found part of what I was looking for. A bright stripe with a lesser bright stripe next to it, was the International Space Station (ISS) and the Endeavor space shuttle. But what was the other one. Fiddling with the timer and going forward and backwards on this pass, I found it. A Soviet spacecraft happened to be passing right by in tandem. Fittingly I called it my "Red Surprise". While I've been to Moscow, Space City and had many surprises along the way, this a Soviet Union delight in another celestial and different way!

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