Paolo Beltrame from Italy sent us this amazing montage of images he took of space shuttle Discovery docked to the ISS on September 1, 2009. See the incredible details visible of the space station and docked shuttle! Paolo is with the Circolo AStrofili Talmassons (Amateur Astronomers Club in Talmassons, or CAST) who have an impressive observatory (take a look at Paolo’s website). He took these selected images from a 2-minute movie taken with a TourcamPro webcam. As impressive as Paolo’s astrophotos are, however, he says his real passion is viewing the night sky with the naked eye. His motto is “Lasciate che i fotoni vengano a me!” (Let the photons come to me!) See a close up of Paolo’s best shot of the ISS/shuttle below, as well as images from other astrophotographers of Tuesday evening’s pass of the shuttle and ISS as they flew in tandem after Discovery undocked from the station on Tuesday afternoon. There’s also video from the shuttle’s flyaround.
Below is Kevin Jung’s image of the ISS and shuttle as they flew in tandem over Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Kevin made it home just in time to take this image, and he said the pair of spacecraft went just below Lyra, and you can make out some of the other things in the field, as well. Click the image to see more of Kevin’s handiwork.
And here’s my feeble attempt to image the tandem flyover from my yard in Illinois:
Can anyone guess what the star in the picture might be?
Finally, enjoy some video of the shuttle’s fly-around of the ISS following undocking. This video just shows the the shuttle due to the lack of Ku band downlink availability. Video of the station from the orbiter was not available, but we’ll post it here later if it becomes available.