Cool Transit Solar Panel images

Some cool Transit solar panel images:

ISS Transit Full Moon (regular speed video)
Transit solar panel
Image by Kevin Baird
I’ve photographed several ISS flyovers before, but tonight @bradpennock and I embarked on an interesting experiment: to capture the International Space Station passing in front of the moon.

I set up 2 cameras: the 5D with a 20-year-old 500mm catadioptric (mirror) lens fixed at f/8, to shoot video at 30 fps so I wouldn’t miss it. And the 20D with my 70-300 on it (crop factor magnified to an effective 480mm, to capture a still when I saw it.

Well, I never saw it. Turns out it’s very tiny. When the sun glints off its solar panels, the ISS can be very bright in the evening sky, but as an object, it’s tiny. Oh, it passes the face of the moon (or sun) in about 1 second. And when it’s passing in the dark, not illuminated by the sun, you can’t see it coming. So… yeah, good luck with that.

Thanks to @Astroguyz for the guidance earlier today!

UDPATE: There is an article on the Bad Astronomy blog with more info about catching these moments.