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Kanata, Ontario – The last fly pass of the “Discovery”

Graeme arrived after work and suggested that, since the night sky was clear, we should try to get a shot of the last pass by of the space shuttle “Discovery”.

We started off with the cameras set up in front of the house, but our first test shot quickly showed that the overhanging trees and ambient light from street lights would prevent us from getting any kind of decent shot of the shuttle path which was supposed to go between the moon and the horizon.

With not a lot of time to spare, we headed out to the middle of the soccer fields behind the house. As I set up with a telephoto lens to get the initial shot of the moon, Graeme set up for a wide-angle shot. I missed having the shuttle in my shot because it passed just below the narrow field of view of the telephoto lens.

Graeme set up for a wide angle shot. The shuttle appeared shortly after we had set up and crossed from the lower right of Graeme’s frame and exited half way up the frame. Compared to the path left by the flashing lights of the crossing planes, the shuttle was just barely visible but did leave a faint streak as it passed across the frame just above the text box that I’ve added to this image. You will likely really have to squint to see it though.

With a bit more post-processing in Photoshop I was able to pull out a bit more brightness in the trail the shuttle left, although I did sacrifice some of the star detail (Graeme).

Another shot of the shuttle, but without the moon (moon glow was pretty strong so a bit easier to highlight the orbiter’s trail once its trajectory was a bit further along in the sky). There is still some glow from the street-lights below as I wasn’t at a “dark-site”.(Graeme)

By Ron

Ron has long had an interest in photography and traveling and, in recent years, has had more time to devote to both activities. Long a Pentax user, Ron switched to Nikon gear when he went digital. The advent of the digital SLR camera, and the ease of the internet blogging process, has provided a venue for sharing his photography and travel experience at the local, national and international level. More about Ron

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