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APOD: 2020 September 23 - ISS Transits Mars [nasa.gov]:
APOD: 2020 September 23 - ISS Transits Mars Astronomy Picture of the Day
Discover the cosmos! [soylentnews.org] Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2020 September 23
ISS Transits Mars
Image Credit & Copyright: Tom Glenn [flickr.com]
Explanation: Yes, but have you ever seen the space station do this? If you know when and where to look [nasa.gov], watching the bright International Space Station [nasa.gov] (ISS) drift across your night sky is a fascinating sight [soylentnews.org] -- but not very unusual. Images of the ISS crossing in front of the half-degree Moon [soylentnews.org] or Sun [soylentnews.org] do exist, but are somewhat rare as they take planning, timing, and patience to acquire. Catching the ISS crossing in front of minuscule Mars [soylentnews.org], though, is on another level. Using online software [calsky.com], the featured photographer learned that the unusual transit would be visible only momentarily along a very narrow stretch of nearby land spanning just 90 meters. Within this stretch, the equivalent ground velocity [giphy.com] of the passing ISS image would be a quick 7.4 kilometers per second. However, with a standard camera, a small telescope, an exact location to set up his equipment, an exact direction to point the telescope, and sub-millisecond timing -- he created a video [youtu.be] from which the featured 0.00035 second exposure was extracted. In the resulting image capture [flickr.com], details on both Mars and the ISS are visible simultaneously. The featured image [flickr.com] was acquired last Monday at 05:15:47 local time from just northeast of San Diego [youtu.be], California [wikipedia.org], USA [cia.gov]. Although typically much smaller, angularly, than the ISS, Mars [soylentnews.org] is approaching its maximum angular size in the next few weeks, because the blue planet [nasa.gov] (Earth) is set to pass its closest [nasa.gov] to the red planet [nasa.gov] (Mars) in their respective orbits around the Sun.
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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff [mtu.edu] (MTU [mtu.edu]) & Jerry Bonnell [nasa.gov] (UMCP [umd.edu])
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply [soylentnews.org].
A service of:ASD [nasa.gov] at NASA [nasa.gov] / GSFC [nasa.gov]
&Michigan Tech. U. [mtu.edu]