When you have an automated video camera, it’s amazing what you can pick up in the night sky. Dr. Robert Suggs used the Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory at Marshall Space Flight Center to catch NanoSail-D on video as it slipped across the sky back on March 2nd, 2011. This video is from the small finder camera for the observatory and the solar sail appears just how it would be seen by the naked eye. The NanoSail-D twitter feed said that this video is actually upside down. “I am actually sailing out of the trees and higher into the night sky,” the solar sail Tweeted. The same facility also captured images of NanoSail-d with 80mm and 14″ telescopes.
NanoSail-D won’t be visible for very much longer, just a couple of weeks or less until it will burn up in the atmosphere. See our previous article on how to observe NanoSail-D before it de-orbits.
Source: NanoSail-D website