HaveBlue
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Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:36 pm

This was being discussed in another thread and had enough interest that I didn't want to derail that thread into a discussion about whether that photo was real or fake.

Photo in question:

http://twitpic.com/5tj3oo

As far as all the comments regarding the picture taken from the ISS of the reentry of Atlantis, I have a few thoughts to posit.

First off it looked fake to me initally too. However once I saw it posted on NASA's site it gave it some credibility and I started assuming it must be legit.

There are a lot of unknowns, and many variables go into the exposure of a picture, so without knowing any of these variables its harder to guess intelligently, but here goes my take on it...

First of all a time exposure at night, even at 100 ISO and f22 (the smallest aperature on most lenses, or another words the least light coming in), will start looking like twilight or dawn within 2 minutes. That is in a dark area at night, using the slowest ISO and slowest aperature setting on a 35mm camera. If you go any faster, using a higher ISO film speed or open the aperature more (more light coming in) or lengthen the exposure, any of those will make a nighttime picture look like twilight/dawn even faster.

Judging by the 'quality' of the picture, the ISO was a faster one... I'd guess at the very least 400 but more likely 800 or higher. I would also assume the aperature wasn't shut down to an f22/f32 but probably a lot more 'open', with f8/11 being the norm but possibly even wide open down to a 2.8/3.5/5.6. And the big unknown to me is the length of the time exposure... I have no idea how long it would take for the shuttle to traverse that amount of space as shown in the picture, or if the ISS was following the same identical track and thus the speed difference being less drastic.


Another words imo a 1 minute or so exposure at 800 ISO at a mid aperature of f8 or f11 could easily turn a 'dark' earth more daylight in appearance by the soaking up of ambient light over time and with reasonably fast film speeds and aperature settings.

Anyhow that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  
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zanl188
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:07 pm

I have no doubt now that it's a legit photo - but I am curious about how it was taken..

There are in fact a series of photos (someone has even made a gif movie, I'll see if I can find a good source & post here if possible). So I now suspect the exposures were fairly short or multiple cameras were used.
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zanl188
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:34 pm

I have it on good authority now that over 100 reentry pix were taken from ISS...

Courtesy: NASA


Somebody on the beach in Cancun got some excellent video;

http://youtu.be/2XZgu7FStbw

[Edited 2011-07-23 09:43:23]

More pix here..

http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts135/reentry/


[Edited 2011-07-23 09:44:42]
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474218
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 5:26 pm

100% real.

Mission control even mentioned that the ISS was passing over and Atlantis breaking to a stop.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:32 pm

Oh and the judging of the ISO speed as being a faster one based on its 'quality' is because it lacks the apparent clarity and lack of pixel

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
Somebody on the beach in Cancun got some excellent video;

http://youtu.be/2XZgu7FStbw

ZAN that is an amazing video, thanks for sharing! What altitude and speed would you guys guess the shuttle is at in the Cancun video? I know it's doing 17,500mph at reentry so would this be in the low teens thousand per hour and around 200,000 or so feet? I have no idea but I'm sure some of you do...  
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zanl188
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:13 pm

GIF movie of the reentry from ISS is here:

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/...-mer-review-notes-flawless-return/

OBTW: An L2 subscription is on that site is well worth it for the shuttle enthusiast.

Have, I'll work on that altitude estimate and see what i can come up with. I may play back the reentry video from NASA TV and see if I can get the speed and altitude over Cancun...

edit: Passing just east of Cancun Atlantis was at approx. 180,000 ft (54864 meters) & Mach 14. per Rob Navias's commentary on NASA TV

[Edited 2011-07-23 12:35:19]
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aal151heavy
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:08 pm

Passing along some comments from launch photographer Ben Copper:

The trail shot is not a time elapse. The plasma trail remains visible for minutes after the shuttle has passed by that part of the atmosphere. Those images are probably only a second or two long at most.

The station crew is using Nikon d3s at very very high iso (iso 125000 max)....these night shots look like daytime because they are using an iso probably 25000 or 64000 or something and the glow is from the moon. With a moon overhead, makes it look like daytime. Just like moonlit landscapes on earth in long exposures.
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 8:56 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
Somebody on the beach in Cancun got some excellent video;

http://youtu.be/2XZgu7FStbw

Absolutely incredible!  Wow! What is the streak behind it exactly? I get the thing is bloody hot so is it heating gases in the atmosphere as it passes them?

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 4):
What altitude and speed would you guys guess the shuttle is at in the Cancun video?

According to the Google Earth live feed you're looking at about Mach 15 and 200,000ft in altitude!

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sh...missions/shuttle_google_earth.html
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HaveBlue
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sat Jul 23, 2011 9:01 pm

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 5):
Have, I'll work on that altitude estimate and see what i can come up with. I may play back the reentry video from NASA TV and see if I can get the speed and altitude over Cancun...

edit: Passing just east of Cancun Atlantis was at approx. 180,000 ft (54864 meters) & Mach 14. per Rob Navias's commentary on NASA TV
Quoting fbgdavidson (Reply 7):
According to the Google Earth live feed you're looking at about Mach 15 and 200,000ft in altitude!

Thank you both for that, appreciated!
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Silver1SWA
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:20 am

What strikes people as fake? Nothing jumped out at me...

Quoting aal151heavy (Reply 6):
The trail shot is not a time elapse. The plasma trail remains visible for minutes after the shuttle has passed by that part of the atmosphere. Those images are probably only a second or two long at most.

This was my guess immediately. Thank you (and Ben Cooper) for confirming it.
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zanl188
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:54 am

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 9):
What strikes people as fake? Nothing jumped out at me...

- Plasma trail appears "photoshopped". Looks the same in all the pix. Probably due to the relative velocity of station & shuttle to earth.
- Terrain & atmospheric details visible on a unsunlit shot. I haven't checked what phase the moon was in, but there must have been considerable moonlight to pickup those details without extensive blurring. I'd have a hard time believing starlight was responsible...
- With all the previous missions to station and we haven't seen shots like these before? Could be the conditions just weren't right until now plus the availability of the cupola.

Those Nikons must be awesome cameras....



edit: FYI: Last full moon was 15 Jul, so we're looking at a waning 3/4 or so moon on reentry day. At reentry time it looks like the moon was at about 65+ deg alt in the southern sky (in the US southeast anyway). Would seem to be pretty good conditions to achieve these shots with moonlight. Moon people: feel free to correct my first thing on sunday morning fly by night observations...  Smile

[Edited 2011-07-24 05:13:14]
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:39 pm

ISS028-E-018217 (21 July 2011) --- This unprecedented view of the space shuttle Atlantis, appearing like a bean sprout against clouds and city lights, on its way home, was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew on the International Space Station. Airglow over Earth can be seen in the background.

Not sure if this link was posted.
The pictures are here

http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/...ges/station/crew-28/ndxpage87.html

all accessible for download in high resolution

  
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Silver1SWA
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:53 am

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 10):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 9):
What strikes people as fake? Nothing jumped out at me...

- Plasma trail appears "photoshopped". Looks the same in all the pix. Probably due to the relative velocity of station & shuttle to earth.
- Terrain & atmospheric details visible on a unsunlit shot. I haven't checked what phase the moon was in, but there must have been considerable moonlight to pickup those details without extensive blurring. I'd have a hard time believing starlight was responsible...
- With all the previous missions to station and we haven't seen shots like these before? Could be the conditions just weren't right until now plus the availability of the cupola.

Those Nikons must be awesome cameras....

First of all, I want to say what I am about to say is not directed to you.

What really upsets me when people cry foul is they don't have any idea what it should look like from up there, and more importantly, they don't have any understanding of photography. They say it looks fake and then try to pick apart the reasons as if they have seen what it really should look like.

I see it all over the internet...why can't the simplest answer be good enough? Why is it assumed that whoever it is would go through the trouble of faking something? I mean really? These were released by NASA. Why would NASA fake such a thing? Why share it in the first place if it isn't real??

Heh..
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zanl188
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RE: Photo Of Atlantis Reentry From ISS Real Or Not?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:09 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 12):
I see it all over the internet...why can't the simplest answer be good enough? Why is it assumed that whoever it is would go through the trouble of faking something? I mean really? These were released by NASA. Why would NASA fake such a thing? Why share it in the first place if it isn't real??

I think the simple answer is that there are charlatans on the internet who want to draw attention to themselves or whatever prank they just pulled. There are also folks who want their "facts" to be correct wether they have any validity or not. It's not hard to find examples of both. Watch to see who corrects themselves after they've made an error and you'll see what I mean - the folks who want things "their" way will not acknowledge their error.

When these pix were originally posted they were posted from a source other than NASA. That certainly didn't help their cause and I'm the guy that cried "fake" partially on that basis. I was wrong. When I was able to corroborate that they were from NASA, I made that fact known on the thread.

Lastly, when things seem to good to be true that is in fact often the case.
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