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ISS Lunar Transit

ISS Lunar Transit

With a hurricane bearing down on Florida, the Space Coast was still able to see the International Space Station and astronauts Paolo Nespoli, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Commander Randy Bresnik meet the Full Corn Moon of September 6, 2017, seen here from Titusville, Florida, just across the river from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.

The transit occurred at 3:39 am, and it lasted for 1.06 seconds.

Of note, at least to me: this is just 36 minutes after the Moon was 100% illuminated. In other words, this is probably the fullest Moon I've ever photographed, and it happens to have the ISS passing in front of it.

Also, the forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, and in fact, when I woke up (at 2 am), the skies above my house (45 minutes away from the centerline) were completely cloudy. But, the sky above Titusville was clear. And, full of mosquitos.

Technical details: This was shot using a Canon 5D4 in 4k video mode at 29.97fps at ISO800 and 1/2500 sec. For optics, I'm using a Celestron 8" telescope with a focal reducer. 34 individual frames (each of the ISS frames and two frames of just the Moon) were extracted, processed in Lightroom, combined using the "darken" mode in Photoshop, and then final adjustments were made (again) in Lightroom.

To plan the transit, I used transit-finder.com and calsky.com. Details of the transit (from transit-finder.com) are:
"Wednesday 2017-09-06 03:39:01.52 • Lunar transit
ISS angular size: 45.75″; distance: 603.91 km
Angular separation: 0.0′; azimuth: 226.5°; altitude: 40.6°
Center line distance: 0.03 km; visibility path width: 5.55 km
Transit duration: 1.06 s; transit chord length: 31.4′
R.A.: 23h 02m; Dec: -08° 25′; parallactic angle: -36.9°
ISS velocity: 29.6 ′/s (angular); 5.21 km/s (transverse)
ISS velocity: -5.24 km/s (radial); 7.39 km/s (total);
Direction of motion relative to zenith: -2.1°
Moon angular size: 31.4′; 41.2 times larger than the ISS
Moon phase: 100.0%; angular separation from Sun: 177.8°
Sun altitude: -41.9°; the ISS will be in shadow"

(Photo by Michael Seeley)

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