ATV and ISS Over Ontario
October 05, 2008
On September 21, 2008, I watched from my backyard just south of Peterborough, Ontario, as the Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) Jules Verne was chased across the sky by the International Space Station (ISS). This photo shows the view as they both appeared from the west at about 8:52 p.m. and climbed over 50 degrees to the north, before disappearing behind my house. I was lucky to catch these two spacecraft in the same field of view, as they had been separated by several minutes in recent weeks. On this night, they were within about 30 seconds of each other. My goal was to at least capture a shot of the ATV before it was destroyed forever on September 29 when it re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere. Look to the right of the bright ISS, shining at magnitude –2.4, to see the ATV, shining at only magnitude 2.8. The ISS is approximately 40 times brighter than the ATV. For comparison, note the brightest star in this photo, Arcturus in the constellation Bootes, which has a magnitude of 0.5.