|The Tanker's Mainmast--And An Extraterrestrial Visitor (to the right)|
A few hours ago as twilight faded to dark, I stepped out onto the starboard bridge wing--and my attention was immediately captured by a brilliant point of steady light rising out of the southwest. Given that stars and planets--let alone the Sun and Moon--tend to rise in the east, it seemed a pretty good bet that this Venus-bright object was an artificial satellite, pursuing its orbital path around Earth.
After a minute of watching it rise from beyond the low stratus cloud-layer I was sure that I was seeing the International Space Station (ISS)--a fact that I confirmed a few minutes later online--and hurried back into the chart house to collect my camera. A little quick fiddling with manual settings, and I got back outside as the longest extant outpost of humanity in the heavens passed over the mainmast as seen from the 'wing.
I consider this photo--rushed as it was, and taken from a moving deck as well--to be a pretty successful off-the-cuff venture. I'll have to keep an eye out for future passages of the ISS--and have camera and tripod ready!
(Want to know when the next passage of the ISS is visible from YOUR bridge wing? Check out "Heavens Above" for satellite tracking information and much more! http://www.heavens-above.com/ )