Moon over Leaside

Racing across the sky

Added 2011-01-10

Bayview and Moore at dusk looking northwest

This is Bayview and Moore, looking northwest, from the Loblaws parking lot. It's just after 5:30 pm, and you can see the afterglow of sunset off to the left. Some car lights are blurred, which means the camera shutter was open a second or so. And yet the picture is clear, which means the camera was held steady during the exposure. My new monopole works!

My friend Andrew had given me a neat collapsible walking stick for Christmas. He thought I might use it during my frequent trips down the ravines. But the neat part is, the compass on the top unscrews and provides a camera mount. It's a tripod, except with only one leg, so you have to hold it up, but this is a lot easier, and steadier, than just holding the camera alone. If I sound pretty pleased with the results, I am. My camera is a simple entry-level Nikon Coolpix, and I used the "Night Landscape" setting (slow shutter speed, focus at infinity, no flash) for this shot. I took two more, and only this one turned out, but it's a beauty.

The International Space Station over Leaside

This closeup reveals why I set up this shot. That's the International Space Station, some 300 kilometres high, racing across the sky. Okay, "racing" is subjective—it takes about 4 minutes. But it's moving at 28,000 kilometres per hour.

And yes, technically the ISS is a moon of the earth. Hence the title, "Moon over Leaside". I believe it's the third brightest object in the sky, ahead of all the planets.

If you're in Toronto, check out the sightings at NASA. You can also select any other city.

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