Tuesday, February 25, 2014

THE INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION...or WHAT I DO WHEN I CAN'T SLEEP...

I do not own a tripod, but this convinced me I should, just for events in the dark.  Not a timed-exposure either, but I did drag a kitchen chair outside to steady my hand.  This is the Moon (obviously the larger orb), and the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, as seen from my back yard, early this morning (with some clever positioning to cut out the massive highway light behind the palm tree).  There are tiny stars visible in the shot, down and to the right of the moon, so you can compare sizes.
I love star gazing - probably because my dad is a Moon Man (yep, that's right - he worked for the defense contractor, Martin Marietta, for some 30+ years, on all missile launches, etc.  That qualifies him for Moon Man, at least in his kid's eyes!)
Need proof?  This will segue nicely into my post later today, but this is something we ran into at a museum recently, that he built (worked on - I like built better!) during his years as a Moon Man.  I believe he told me it's a Manned Maneuvering Pack for astronauts to jump around the Moon in, or something like that - pretty technical stuff. The kind that he could tell you about, but then have to kill you.
These were shot from the hip as the sky lightened, because I had just enough light to not need the tripod that I will be buying later today.  Last night at 6:20pm PST, our weatherman announced that the Space Station would be visible to the naked eye.  I immediately ran outside, but could not find it where it was supposed to be - mainly because it was still too light, but also because Vegas has captured the market on LIGHTS, making star gazing really hard, unless you get out of town (I have been known to drive 30 miles at midnight to catch a meteor shower - oh, yes I did).  I called the Moon Man but alas, the skies in Denver were cloudy last evening.
These were taken looking south/southeast behind my house this morning - they said that it would be the brightest thing in the sky, besides the Moon, when you spotted it...they weren't lying.  Visible through March...if you missed it last night, there will be others.
For more information, and exactly where to look in the skies over your area (if you're not a Moon Man and know already), check out SPOT THE STATION.NASA.GOV (just click on the highlighted link there). Back later on with highlights from Wings Over the Rockies @ Lowry Air Force Base.  This one was for you, Moon Man!  XOXO

7 comments:

Jackie said...

Oh dude! I wish I knew, Charlie and I love to go up on the roof and watch the satellites and other junk float around! Charlie is a space freak too, watches anything to do with weather and planets! My mom was a Hughes Aircraft worker for her whole life, she built the radar components in the fighter jets, rockets, etc. Love that you have a moon man!

Maywyn Studio said...

WOW! Tanya, you have a Moon Man Dad!
Giggling like a school girl
Fantastic photos.
I have to remember your latitude is different than up here at 44ÂșN for the star or planet I was trying to identify last week. Duh on me, even after a planetary geology course, I forgot to look at NASA (the go to website in the course) for sky identification.

Vicki Boster said...

Wow- how cool is that to see the space station-- looks like they had all their lights on!!

Vicki

Createology said...

What an amazing site you were able to photograph. Thank you to your Moon Man Dad for all his years of working in aerospace. Mr. C has an amazing telescope but we never look through it much any more. Too many giant pine trees in the way and the last time skunks joined us on the lawn and we didn't see them in the darkness until back inside and turned on the security lights. Last time for me!!! Gorgeous sky, stars, moon and space. Billions and billions and billions...

Mary Ann Potter said...

WOW! Spectacular sight! I'm headed to the site so I can see when the space station will be visible here. Loved this post!

My Garden Diaries said...

This would be fantastic to show the beans! How cool is this! And how cool is your dad!!!! If I lived close by I would drive with you to check out the stars friend! Just so beautiful...there is an old saying that says...if people would just take the time to look up at the stars the world would be a different place...isn't that so true?!?! Have a great day friend! Nicole xoxo

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

So I just read your post about this being Venus instead of the space station. Oh this is so funny. When you finally do spot the space station, you will know it instantly because it will be cruisin' across the night sky and is only visible for a couple of minutes. I think it would be hard to photograph. Once, I saw the space station, the space shuttle and a russian supply vessel all orbiting together at the same time and that was pretty cool!