Ground-Based Observations Capture Spacewalking Astronaut in Action

Article written: 4 Mar , 2011
Updated: 26 Apr , 2016
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More impressive ground based images of the STS-133 mission, this time, Amateur astronomer Ralf Vandebergh of the Netherlands took images during one of the spacewalks for the mission, and likely captured astronaut Steve Bowen at work on the end of the Canadarm 2! Click on the image above, or go to Ralf’s website for a better view and more information.

Another amateur astronomer from the UK, Martin Lewis also took similar images of the spacewalk.

Ralf uses a 10 inch Newtonian telescope with a videocam eyepiece, and manually tracks the ISS and other objects across the sky. He takes most of his images in color to obtain the maximum possible information of the objects.

He took a similar image about 2 years ago of astronaut Joe Acaba on an EVA outside the ISS in March of 2009, which was featured on Astronomy Picture of the Day. He has also taken images of of ISS and Dexter, the special purpose manipulator, or this one of space shuttle Discovery on the STS-131 mission.

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5 Responses

  1. Olaf says

    These images motivated me to look up google and search for a new telescope. These images are so great and want to watch the sky as I used to do.

  2. Member
    Aqua says

    “…manually tracks the ISS and other objects across the sky…” A steady hand and lots of practice and… WOW!

  3. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    Wow. I didn’t know about the earlier capture either, which had even better resolution. So now we can *see* what camera satellites can do, using familiar references. Awesome!

  4. ralfvandebergh says

    Best moment of all was when the ISS/Shuttle combi was overhead and I heard on NASA-tv mission coverage; ISS is now above Europe, with on the background the voices of the astronauts!

    When I first inspected the frames I thought that the arm-like structure on the left side would be the Station-arm with the spacewalker on it. Later I realized that the astronaut must be on the other side, near the Columbus Lab. What we see at the left hand side is the Space Shuttle Robotic-Arm SRMS positioned under the Kibo Laboratory.
    This is an indication of how careful we should have to analyse images in cases like this.

    Ralf

  5. Olaf says

    I really love these images, but where were they taken? In The Netherlands?

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