Posted: 11 Dec 2009 12:11 PM PST
With a big enough telescope and some good fortune, an amateur astronomer can look into the sky and see humans at the space station.
Here's the proof. On March 21, 2009, astronaut Joe Acaba stepped into space for some extravehicular activity. Down on Earth, Ralf Vandebergh was in his backyard, pointing a 10 inch-telescope at the International Space Station as it passed over Europe.
In reviewing the photos he shot, he saw a few bright pixels appear precisely where the work was going on at exactly the moment it was being conducted. In other words, he was looking at an astronaut!
He posted this new video of his images to YouTube earlier this week.
"The best results occur mostly as a surprise when lighting angle, viewing angle, seeing, distance and other factors of the objects are favorable," Vandebergh explains on his website.
We're big fans, obviously, of photos of recognizable features on Earth taken from space, but here's the reverse: a photo of a human in space taken from Earth. It's a different kind of sublime, but just as awesome.
Images: Ralf Vandebergh.
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