Day 8 of 30 Days Wild started very early, and when I say early I mean EARLY! And the subjects of my nocturnal activities…hedgehogs and the International Space Station. Now there’s a combination you don’t see every day!
For those of you who have been following me for a while you will already know that I have another growing passion…astronomy.
It’s not a new interest. I’ve always been fascinated by the stars, planets and everything in between. In fact one of my very first childhood memories is being held in my mother’s arms as she runs down the road to my nans to get some bread. It was dark and I have no idea why my mum was so desperate for the bread but I distinctly remember looking up at the inky blackness of the sky sprinkled with sparkly twinkling lights in puzzled wonderment.
Fast forward forty two years and my interest has grown into a dabbling with astro photography. Only very simple stuff but I find it interesting and fun and enjoy sharing the images.
One of the easiest things to photograph is the International Space Station (ISS) as it passes over. To the naked eye and any standard camera set up the ISS looks like an incredibly bright star passing rapidly overhead from east to west. It only appears on certain days of certain months so it helps to know when and where to look.
I’ll write a separate ‘How To Guide’ explaining how I photograph the ISS and share it with you soon.
For 8 June there are two passes. The first would be at 00:11 and the second is expected at 23.18.
I was outside with the tripod and camera set up at the stroke of midnight. I like to do a couple of test shots before the ISS arrives just to make sure framing is correct and everything is in focus. I usually have my bat detector in my pocket too to listen out for any passing bats while I wait.
In order to capture the movement of the ISS as it tracks across the sky the camera needs to be set to take a long exposure. This will make the ISS appear as a bright line in the image.
Here’s an image I took a while ago of the ISS passing over Orford Castle. This is one of my favourite shots so far as I like the idea of space age technology passing over the centuries old castle below.