Bye Bye Gaia!

by on , under Astronomy Blog

After an extremely wet evening, the front cleared to produce clear skies.
Gaia had been launched that morning, so I had a crack at it using the details I put on my previous blog.
I aligned the scope on the field I expected to find it, and there was a small streak on my images.
It was slightly off the path I had calculated for Leicester, but easily in the field of view, but it was certainly there, moving rapidly in front of the stars and much brighter than I expected. Its newly unfurled Sun shield doing a great job of reflecting the sunlight.

This is the movie I managed to produce from the images.

This is a single image I took showing the spacecraft’s movement during a 60 second exposure.
gaia0013 13-12-19 22-12-10

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