Bay man captures space station photograph

This International Space Station photo was snapped from a Pt Vernon backyard.
This International Space Station photo was snapped from a Pt Vernon backyard. Steve Massey

A HERVEY Bay astronomer has captured a rare image of an international space station moving at 27,000kmh from his Point Vernon backyard.

Steve Massey only had six minutes before the space station disappeared beyond the horizon to take the photo he had been trying to get for over a year.

"I used a high-speed video camera and because it's 370km away you have to be very precise with your telescope," Mr Massey said.

"Most people probably look up and see it but don't know what it is, but if you look at it through a telescope you can see a lot of detail."

Mr Massey said the space station was a common sight and was expected to return over the Fraser Coast again later this year.

"You can do some rough predictions as to when it will return," he said.

"There are places you can go on the internet, like NASA sites, but even then it's hard to get a good photo because it comes from different directions and moves as fast as a plane."

Mr Massey, who has had seven astronomy books published, said the best time to take a photo of a satellite was just after sunset - if you could spot one.

"That's when you see most satellites in the sky because they reflect a lot of light."

Mr Massey said the space station was not the most unusual thing he had seen in the sky.

"I have seen some light formations that defy explanation but there usually is one in the end," he said.

Topics:  amazing space astronomy international space station point vernon telescope

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