Did you see it?  The sky did clear overnight allowing for relief from the humidity but also many views of the sky show. Multiple sightings of two events were on the schedule. There were a few passes of the International Space Station, the first one between 10:18 and 10:24 PM. This took a long path overhead, allowing for many to identify ISS and even capture some photos. Considering that it is traveling at roughly 17,000 mph, zooming in close and capturing an image in low light is difficult. But a couple of talented photographers did just that. It was in field of view with the very bright full moon as well. Technically the moon turns completely full until 6:43 AM EDT, but the illumination Thursday and Friday nights will be almost identical. That also means that by definition, today hosts the Blue Moon as well.  It will not turn blue, but that was the light color glaring through my windows overnight.  The moon is easier to grab, and below are a couple of captures. I’ve added the camera settings suggestion as well as there will be another chance to view this tonight.

*Read more about the Blue Moon July 31 2015

ISS_ScottHoggardJohn Wheeler’s view above was his first attempt and I think he did a great job. At first glance it looks like the Starship Enterprise. Scott Hoggard captured a later pass and said it was worth staying up late.  Here are the camera settings I passes along last night.

  • Nikon D7000
  • Orion 10″ Dobsonian telescope
  • 2x Barlow lens
  • Nikon mount for the telescope eyepiece/focuser
  • Remote trigger

Settings: Manual Mode – 1/200sec at 800 ISO, unsure of the aperture of the telescope with the barlow.

Video Flyover: Mike Phelps (you might need to have Twitter enabled on your phone to view)


Stephanie Martin also got the chance to watch with her daughter. They shared this sequence, which may not be as vivid, but the experience was worth sharing. ISS_Stephanie_Malanowski-Martin

Full Moon:

The moon appeared to be full last night, and was mighty bright shining through my window.  But it turned full this morning at 6:43 AM. It will rise over Baltimore (Maryland) at 8:22PM this evening. That’s more than 13 hours after turning full, which is why I kept playing up the view last night’s view which was technically closer in time.  Most people will not notice the difference, and if you would like to try and photograph it tonight, the weather should be just fine.

Here are the suggest camera settings Julie Smith from Sidaldee Photography used to get this image. Her business is primarily people/children portraits in natural settings, but I think she has a good handle on night pics as well.



Camera settings can adjust how white and bright the moon may appear. But also consider the timing. Earlier around the rise time, you can still get the twilight blue sky this evening. Also, the refraction near the horizon, even some water vapor, dust, and pollution can give the moon more of a yellow or orange coloring.


Moon_VirginiaHarte Titus

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