Recent ISS Captures

The visible part of the International Space Station’s orbit has lately taken it over our area early in the morning, and as we get up at 5AM every day now, I’ve had several opportunities to photograph ISS flyovers from the parking garage roof deck. (The LADEE launch photo was a great encouragement.) First two attempts were a bit cloudy, but the clouds actually served to enhance these long exposures.

ISS (50 sec f/3.5)
ISS through clouds

Another pass from last Monday was stymied by glaring light pollution from the new Metro parking garage across the street, but the ISS is faintly visible along the bottom of the frame.

ISS faint pass NW-NE (114s f/3.5)

So far what’s worked for me is to stick to ISO 200 to minimize grain noise and suburban light glare, keep aperture wide (usually f/3.5), and go for 30-120 second exposures to get a full streak across the field of view of a 16mm lens. Some time I’d like to try this from a much darker place, and see if I can use a higher ISO and even longer exposure time to get more stars — maybe even the Milky Way. As it is, I tried to shoot Orion and the harvest moon, with unimpressive results. (Wind wasn’t helping.)

Orion (30s f/4.5 ISO 200)

Previous ISS sightings here.