ISS on its own – not a night to remember

9th April 2016 was not a happy night for me.  Two passes of the ISS and the Dragon supply vessel predicted, one at 8:40 p.m. and the other at 10:15 p.m.  Sky clear!!  Moon setting at 10:39 p.m. and small phase only – so no problem.  Everything perfect for a unique image.

So I’m set up in the garden for the 8:40 p.m. pass, I see the ISS approaching and open the shutter.  As it is still fairly light I am taking a set of 10-second exposures.  As the ISS reaches the Zenith I can actually see the Dragon supply ship off to one side – brilliant – I haven’t seen it before 🙂 🙂  I keep taking shots until the ISS is well out of the FOV – brilliant – what a happy occasion.  So I packed the camera up to bring the data indoors for processing – AND – yes the lens cap was still on.  I don’t think I have gone quite so ballistic for a number of years – and of course I have NEVER left the lens cap on the camera ever before.

O.K. well I still have the 10:15 p.m. pass – but it is so low down I need to go over the forest to take the pictures.  No problem – load everything into the car and go over to a forest car park to get next pass.  Well that’s an eye opener!!  Didn’t realise that sort of thing went on in my local forest car park after dark!!  Undeterred I pressed on (the others discretely pushed off while I was setting up) and I got the image below.  The first part of the pass was lost from car headlights from a car coming back from deeper in the forest, but I got the main part of the ISS pass.  However I didn’t get, and I didn’t see the Dragon supply ship which was basically the whole point of the exercise.

Not a night to remember!

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