Orbiting Earth 16 times a day means there are an abundance of amazing photo opportunities for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
During his recent six-month visit to the space-based facility, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet spoiled us with stunning Earth images captured from 250 miles above.
At the end of his mission in November, Pesquet revealed how he managed to capture impressive imagery on such a frequent basis (spoiler: a Very preparation is required).
In a tweet this week, current ISS resident Mathias Maurer offered additional insight into how astronauts observe Earth, even sharing the name of a mobile app that helps them find places of interest. helps.
Maurer, who arrived at the ISS in November, said in a tweet: “To find out where we are above Earth and not miss any interesting photo opportunities, astronauts from the space station use GoISSWatch and NASA’s ‘World Map’ program.” use the app. “These also show Earth observation targets for weather conditions and correct [photos],
where on earth…? Don’t miss any interesting photo opportunities to find out where we are on Earth @space Station Astronaut GoISSwatch & @NASA"world map" Program. These also show the weather conditions & complete . Earth observation target for pic.twitter.com/vOvUj1iGGa
— Matthias Maurer (@astro_matthias) 13 January 2022
Developed by GoSoftWork, the GoISSWatch app (Free for iPhone and iPad) shows the approximate path of the space station to the astronauts as it orbits the Earth.
For Earthlings watching, the same iOS app (Android users.) can try it) provides real-time tracking of the ISS. It also tells you when the station will pass over your neighborhood, giving you the chance to see the orbiting satellite yourself (no special equipment required, just clear skies!).
The app’s notifications feature means you can plan ahead if you’re interested in trying to photograph the station in the night sky. In response to Maurer’s message, stargazer Steve Rice revealed that he uses the app for exactly that purpose, including in his tweet an amazing long-exposure image he took from the ISS…
— Steve Rice (@kiwibacon) 13 January 2022
As Steve pointed out, he uses the paid version of GoSoftWork’s app called GoSatWatch ($10), which lets you track not only the ISS but many other satellites orbiting Earth as well. It also lets you track SpaceX spacecraft during missions to and from the ISS. However, if you’re only interested in finding the space station, GoSoftWork’s free app will do the job.