Originally posted by Belizeman01
Referring back to the Austin ISS photos; the first two were close to the appointed time and exactly in the right spot. After they slipped out of
sight, I decided to hang around for dawn to take some shots of downtown Austin. I had noted the orange object, thought it most likely Mars and took a
shot. About 10 minutes later(almost 20 Minutes after the shuttle), I noticed a very similar light almost exactly where I had last seen the
ISS/Shuttle. I took one shot, then it was gone.
Probably because it was getting late and went into shadow. As the night wears on satellites will disappear into earth's shadow sooner and sooner
until you just don't see them anymore.
That shot is the one that IMHO, looked the most like the shuttle. What it was connected to did not look like the ISS! After reading the long thread
with regard to "secret military space stations", I then remembered something I had seen back in the late 1950's or 1960's. It was an article on
space stations and the various designs. And there was one design similar to the image. There were long booms for docking and crew quarters. And at
the end of the longest boom, for safety reasons, was the nuclear reactor! Do you ever remember reading about nuclear powered space stations?
You said you have observed the ISS for years. In your opinion, do you believe there is no substance to the rumor of military space stations or huge
machines in orbit?
With regard to lens; I'm using a Nikon D-200 and some of my lens cost more then the camera! Yet, they don't come close to your aperture.
I've been observing ISS and the shuttle since before the columbia accident, and photographing them since before the return to flight. I've yet to
see anything at all unusual, be it a military space station or huge machine in orbit. From time to time you do see a third object trailing the
station, but it's always turned out to be a progress module that was filled with garbage and dumped, nothing clandestine. I'm in a group with
others who use the same satellite tracking software and they've never reported anything like abnormal either. Some of them have taken better shots
of the shuttle than I have. I have yet to see any convincing proof that these things exist. In fact, they could hardly expect to get away
undetected. The space station is amazingly bright, and the shuttle's not dim either. Every launch is seen and the payload tracked by amateurs, even
classified payloads. They make a sport out of calculating the orbits of spy sats, and the closest thing to unusual that they've ever dealt with was
a special spy sat designed to avoid detection, but it was launched by the shuttle (meaning it couldn't be that large) and they've even spotted that
from time to time.
I hate to say it, but I don't know of any 200mm lens that can resolve significant structure of the space station. If you tracked it perfectly, it
might just be enough to barely make out the main solar panels, but I'm not sure. Telephoto lenses aren't exactly designed for that demanding a
task, and though they're great for ordinary photography, they may or may not be good at getting pinpoint stars across the field of view. No optic
costing less than a car will do that perfectly, even mine. I'd like to see the full uncropped photo though showing stationary stars with something