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Satellite Photography

Ron Zincone
Richmond, RI

Dear AAAA:

Here are three astrophotos that I took. Each is a 4x6 print from slide. Each photo is labeled with the information on how I took it.

  1. Photo #1 is the Russian Space Station Mir trailing through the Big Dipper.
  2. Photo #2 is of the Space Shuttle Discovery launch as seen from Daytona Beach, Florida. this was STS-96.
  3. Photo #3 is of the International Space Station.

The Mir, I believe, will soon plunge into the ocean, and the ISS will be becoming more visible in time due to is construction.

For satellite photography, I have found that using faster film between 200 and 400 ASA will bring out the satellite trails. Take your shots just after twilight when the sapcecraft can reflect the setting sun.

These photos are camera on tripod photography using a standard 50-mm or wide angle lens where you can lock the shutter open as the satellites trail across the film plane. It might be interesting to know that Sky&Telescope has a website which has a satellite page. This page provides passes for major cities for the Mir and the ISS, as well as Iridium satellites.

These photos were time exposures taken with a fully manual SLR camera with a normal standard 50-mm lens, on a tripod with a cable release.


Ron Zincone, AAAA
Richmond, RI 02892

Mir Spacecraft in Ursa Major. Photo Copyright Ron Zincone, AAAA

Russian Space Station MIR in Ursa Major on April 5, 1999, 8:01 p.m., Richmond, RI. 50-mm f/2.8 20-30 second exposure on FujiChrome Sensia II 100

Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-96). Photo Copyright Ron Zincone, AAAA

Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-96) on May27, 1999, 6:49 p.m., from Daytona Beach, FL. 50-mm f/11 1/60 sec. exposure on Kodachrome 64

International Space Station. Photo Copyright Ron Zoncone, AAAA

International Space Station on July 7, 1999, 9:16 p.m., Richmond, RI. 50-mm f/2.8 20-30 second exposure on EliteChrome 400

click on images to view full size

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