Mar 11

ISS and SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-1 trunk

For a start let’s make it clear, what do we actually see now?

If you followed the SpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-1  mission, you might already be familiar with the spacecraft and its  new design. It consists of two main parts, the cabin (pressurised) and the trunk (unpressurised) sections. It looks like this.

After staying 5 days docked to ISS, Crew Dragon undocked from the International Space Station and began to increase the distance from the station. About 5 hours later it did the deorbit burn, but before that the cabin and the trunk has separated. The trunk section remains in Low Earth Orbit for a while, only the pressurised cabin returns.

And for people like the hungarian astrophotographer Mónika Landy-Gyebnár or myself this is always a unique opportunity to capture something special, unusual. After seeing her brilliant photo showing ISS and the Crew Dragon trunk section on a long exposure photo (which she has capture once again since), I decided to give it a shot too. Weather looked promising, I did not even take telescope with me, only a dslr camera, a tripod and my pair of eyes. This was the prediction for the morning.

The forecast was spot on, the trunk brightened up almost exactly at the predicted time. Visual magnitude was abound +2.0 and it was quite visible! Sadly London’s light pollution does not help when I take photos of fainter objects… About 7 minutes later ISS appeared as well from west, which was much brighter obviously.
I stacked some of the frames, so you can see both objects on one photo. Their elevation was slightly different.
When sky is clear and ISS crosses it, I am usually behind my scope imaging the flyby. Not this time, it was such a pleasant feeling to visually enjoying both passes this time!

 

Equipment
Canon 600D + Samyang 8mm fisheye lens

11/03/2019

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