In the previous post dedicated to the Moon, I mentioned the fact that a pair of binoculars or a simple telescope can reveal beautiful details on the surface of our satellite. On some special occasions, you can get astonishing views through the eye of a telescope… As you probably all know, Discovery docked to the International Space Station a few days ago, and this is Discovery approaching the ISS:

This awesome sequence was made by Thierry Legault on February 26 from Germany, using a 10″ telescope (more details about the equipment are given here). The scene takes place 30 minutes before docking, and it is sunset on the ISS at the end of the video sequence. The video is accelerated 2.5 times (acquisition at 10 fps, video at 25 fps). The altitude of the ISS is 360 km (200 miles), for a size of 100 metres. The speed of the ISS is 28,000 kilometers per hour (17,000 miles per hour) and its angular speed at zenith is 1.2° per second.

Thinking that such shots can be made from the ground, provided that the weather is good and you have a lot of patience (and talent), is literally fascinating. I highly recommend you to take a look at Thierry’s website, where you will find a lot more wonderful pictures.

Sequence and image used by permission of Thierry Legault.