ISS Lunar Transit over a Waxing Gibbous Moon

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The image shows a sequence of the ISS – International Space Station – crossing the moon’s disc during the twilight over Dark Sky® Alqueva Observatory in Cumeada region, Reguengos, Portugal, on March 23, 2021 at UT 17h43m. In the background, a detailed Waxing Gibbous Moon features a surface 70% directly illuminated by the Sun and spread by contrasted craters. The path which comprises 29 frames with the ISS visible, seems to cross very close to the well known Tycho crater, with a diameter of 86km. Carrying on board astronauts, the large artificial satellite orbiting our planet with a width of 108.5 meters seems although very small when compared with the moon’s disc with an angular size of 31.2′. Indeed, the moon was 35.7 times larger than the ISS during this particular passage. Although, larger structures and the main solar panels are well possible to distinguish in the image. The angular size of the ISS was 52.42″ arc seconds at a distance of 526,67 km and a speed of 7,39km/s, it has just crossed the moon in a blink of an eye during 0.69s. International Space Station (ISS) completes an entire orbit around Earth each 90 minutes, but these events are not happening so often. To capture this scene, I´ve used a ZWO ASI178MC planetary camera in full resolution at 21 frames per second, with a telescope Takahashi FSQ-106ED + Extender-Q 1.6x (840mm) on a mount EM-200.

PT: A imagem revela uma sequência da ISS – Estação Espacial Internacional – cruzando o disco da lua Crescente Gibosa sobre o Observatório do Dark Sky® Alqueva, na Cumeada, Reguengos, Portugal, no dia 23 de Março de 2021 às 17h43m UT. Em pano de fundo, uma lua detalhada apresenta uma superfície 70% iluminada directamente pelo sol e repleta de crateras contrastantes. A linha que descreve a passagem da ISS, e que compreende 29 fotografias captadas em modo sequencial, passa próximo da conhecida cratera Tycho, com um diâmetro de 86km. Transportando a bordo astronautas em permanência,  o maior satélite artificial a orbitar o nosso planeta Terra, tem uma largura de 108,5 metros, embora pareça muito pequeno quando comparado com disco lunar com um tamanho angular de 31,2′ (minutos de arco). Na verdade, a lua encontrava-se 35,7 vezes maior do que a ISS durante esta passagem em particular. Porém, as maiores estruturas e os painéis solares principais são bem possíveis de distinguir na imagem. Com o tamanho angular de 52,42″ (segundos de arco), a ISS passou a uma distância de 526,67 km e uma velocidade de 7,39 km/s, cruzando a lua num piscar de olhos, durante cerca de 0,69 segundos. A Estação Espacial Internacional (ISS) completa uma órbita inteira ao redor da Terra a cada 90 minutos, mas eventos como este não acontecem com tanta frequência. Para captar esta imagem, usei uma c^mara planetário ZWO ASI178MC na máxima resolução e a 21 frames por segundo, com um telescópio Takahashi FSQ-106ED + Extender-Q 1.6x (840mm) numa montagem EM-200.

Above is available the ISS footage captured with the ZWO ASI178MC camera and below, the portrait version of the still image which comprises all the 29 frames of the ISS sequence.

PT: Acima é possível ver o vídeo captado pela ZWO ASI178MC e abaixo, uma versão em modo retrato da imagem final que compila os 29 frames da sequência.



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