It’s possible not only to see the International Space Station passing overhead, appearing as a “star” that crosses your night sky, but also – if you have the right equipment – to capture it photographically. John Nelson in Puget Sound, Washington did that on October 10, 2017. John wrote:
I receive notifications from the NASA SpotTheStation website when the ISS will be passing overhead. Tonight was a very high pass at 78 degrees maximum height from west-northwest to east-southeast. Being that high meant it would be about the best photographic opportunity I was likely to get.
We had a beautiful clear night. Ideal conditions.
The ISS moves at 7.7 km/sec. It’s relatively easy to manually track but focusing can be tricky. On this night, it was the brightest object in the sky by far … for the three minutes that it was visible.
Nikon D810, Sigma 150-600mm lens with Sigma 1.4x teleconverter mounted on a gimbled tripod.
EXIF: 1/2000sec, F/9, ISO 1000
RAW images processed in lightroom to export as jpeg. Minor tweaks to lighting to bring out background stars.
Thank you, John!
Bottom line: International Space Station over Puget Sound, October, 2017.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.