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An amateur astronomer from Sydney's north-west has snapped an amazingly detailed picture of the space station, docked to the space shuttle Discovery, as they passed about 400 kilometres above the city.
Although understandably fuzzy, the shuttle, with its gleaming delta-shaped wings, is clearly visible.
So too is one of the space station's solar arrays that catch sunlight to generate electricity for the orbiting outpost.
The other solar panels - and the US, Russian, Japanese and European modules in which the astronauts live and work - can also be made out.
Vincent Miu, 47, shot the picture from his Baulkham Hills backyard about 6.10am on Friday.
He used a "moderately sized" 30-centimetre telescope, replacing the eye piece with a webcam purchased for about $100. The camera, in turn, was linked to his laptop computer.
While using his hand to steer the telescope, tracking the station across the sky, he shot about 800 frames in about 90 seconds.
"But some were too fuzzy, some were too dim and in some I only got about half the space station," Mr Miu said.
From 10 reasonably good frames he selected the best three, and then used his laptop to "stack" them on top of each other, producing an even sharper image.
Originally posted by weedwhacker
Great find, OP!
NOW, if only your neighbour can find the 'Secret Space Stations' that John Lear maintains are in orbit, that would be a boon!
Oh....I know....Mr. Lear will just claim that these alleged 'stations' are cloaked, and invisible....well, great idewa while it lastest, eh?
Nobody could emulate the same method that person used until now!
The house where the man took this image is also relatively near my house so I can say for sure that he would have been getting interference from city lights. Imagine what the images would look like if they were taken in more rural areas where city lights aren't an issue!!