From Galloway, southwest Scotland, I caught sight of the ISS as it passed over the Pyrenees tonight just before 18.00h. It’s the trail moving from right to left below Venus (but you knew that 😉 ) – but what’s the vertical trail at the top of the first photo? It seems too consistent/unwavering to be an aircraft. Another satellite? Exposure 30 seconds.
Nice images, Andy.
Yep, definitely another satellite. Quick look at Sky Safari identifies it as 31598 – COSMO-SkyMed 1
COSMO-SkyMed 1 is an Italian Earth-imaging Synthetic Aperture Radar that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 02:34 UT on 08 June 2007. The 1.7 tonne, 3.6 kW craft is the first of a four-satellite constellation, and carries an X-band (9.6 GHz) radar. The swath width is variable and provides images at a resolution between three to 100 meters.
So now you know… you were being spied on by the Italians 😉
Thanks for that, Mike. I eventually remembered that there’s a ‘show satellites’ option on Stellarium, too, though the dataset on the mobile app seems more complete than the desktop app which doesn’t seem to have this particular piece of space hardware.
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