What a view!

You have got to love this. Astronauts/Cosmonauts hard at work on the international space station (ISS/Zarya) while passing over some of New Zealand’s best wine regions. In the North island we can see the Wairarapa/Martinborough region. In the South Island the Marlborough, Nelson, and North Canterbury/Waipara regions.

The coming Saturday and Monday evenings should provide good opportunities for observing the International Space Station from the North Island of New Zealand – weather permitting.

See also:
Heavens Above
Real Time Satellite Tracking

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11 responses to “What a view!

  1. Great photo. And thanks for the tips for viewing the space station – I’ve never watched it before.


  2. I think this photo, or one very like it, was shown in some of the newspapers a while back (The Press is where I saw it, I think).

    Its a great photo, but it makes me wonder what the distance from the camera to the structure that the astronauts are on is. (I’m thinking of the focal length lens needed to capture this.)


  3. I think the photo was taken about two years ago and I did pick it up again recently from a NZ source.

    A think a slightly wide-angle lens would have been used – certainly not tele-photo from the relative dominance of background and foreground. It’s hard to be completely sure having not been in that situation!


  4. Re-reading this, I can’t help but wonder about the wine focus… the first thing that comes to mind are the wine regions, eh? πŸ™‚ You’re right though, but what about Hawkes Bay? And Otago for Pinot Noir!

    And someone needs to tell them to shift the damn thing further south! Hello NASA, hello… are you hearing me?


  5. ha… and also note that ‘hamilton’ is the featured city in the whole north island! what city are you from again, Ken? πŸ˜‰


  6. Yes, Dale, Hamilton. When you go to these sites you are able to enter your own details. This then gives you the relevant details and maps for observing satellite passes for your own location. Very handy.

    Heraclides, I only mentioned the regions shown in the photo. I don’t often get to sample the Otago Pinot Noirs. In fact I tend to steer away from Pinot Noir solely because of their expense in developing a proper appreciation of them. I love the Hawkes Bay region for their wines, too.


  7. I know what you mean about the price of Pinot’s, way too much for me too (I’ve had some, courtesy of some richer relatives!).


  8. James hasn’t gotten around to derailing this thread with one of his odiously ponderous questions yet so (for those of you suffering from withdrawal symptoms) I’ll take the liberty of filling in for him.


    Damian said…”Great photo.”

    I find it so amusing when atheists pretend to understand values.
    Damian, you’re ignoring the main problem here.
    What is greatness?

    If everything is subjective and there is no objectivity in human nature then greatness has no meaning.
    What is greatness? Hmm?

    (Comes out of channelling. Scurries off to take a long hot shower)


  9. Hey Ken, I managed to see the ISS last night after having missed it due to cloud and poor timing on Saturday and Monday nights respectively. It was pretty amazing to see it scooting across the sky knowing that there are people 350km up there, that it’s as big as a football field and that it’s travelling at 28,000km/h (one lap of the earth every 90 minutes!).

    On a vaguely related topic, Richard Garriot (aka “Lord British” who’s Ultima game series consumed many hours of my time back in the early 90s) is currently aboard.


  10. We should have all written computer games and made a fortune… (me too)


  11. I also missed in Saturday (too cloudy) and Monday (too light) and didn’t look last night because it was too cloudy.

    It is amazing to see when you realise there are people on board.

    A couple of strange things I came across recently.

    I watched part of a Nasa video of a ceremony for the last Soyuz launch of astronauts/cosmonauts. A lot of food/vodka and speeches. One speech was from an Russian Orthodox priest in full regalia! He spoke as if the crew were carrying out orders from the Church!

    I also watched a Google talk by Charles Simonyi about his trip to the station on a Soyuz craft. He talked about the traditions that have built up. Apparently one tradition is that the main commander at the launch platform wishes each member of the crew off by kicking them in the backside as the climb aboard. Weird!


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