Space | 03. March 2011 | 46 Comments

Captured from ground: ATV Johannes Kepler and Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the ISS

On Tuesday, 1 March 2011, Dirk Ewers, one of our readers, caught the International Space Station (ISS) on camera, as it was passing overhead in the evening sky near Kassel in central Germany. Ewers has sent in the fantastic images that show ATV-2 Johannes Kepler and Space Shuttle Discovery docked with the ISS. Using almost 2000 of these individual images, he has put together a video sequence of the docked spacecraft passing almost directly overhead.

Kudos to Dirk for these amazing images!

Scroll down for an annotated image showing the locations of ATV 2 and the Shuttle.


 ISS with ATV and Space Shuttle Discovery

Images and video courtesy of: Dirk Ewers

A few days ago, NASA featured a similar image by Rob Bullen as their Image of the Day. Last year, Thilo Kranz, a staff member at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) took an outstanding image of the ISS transiting the Sun.

About the images:

Two Line Elements (TLE):

1 25544U 98067A 11059.94480917 .00003150 00000-0 27606-4 0 9183

2 25544 51.6462 356.0474 0005 066 22.5301 93.7337 15.72510241703869

Elevation: 85° north (maximum)

Distance: 358 kilometres (minimum)

Overall length of truss structure (S6/S5/S4/S3/S1/S0/P1/P3/P4/P5/P6): 100.4 metres = 57.85 arcseconds (theoretical maximum)

Speed: 27,710 kilometres per hour

Time: 19:25 CET, 1 March 2011

Location: Hombressen near Kassel, Germany



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Mike A.
04. March 2011 at 16:31


04. March 2011 at 16:32

Fantastic. Well done

04. March 2011 at 16:42

Absolutely amazing! Thank you Dirk!

Joel in Kansas City
04. March 2011 at 16:44

Absolutely stunning. Thanks so much for putting it together and sharing.

04. March 2011 at 17:02

Very nice footage ! thanks for sharing this.

Michael Broemmer
04. March 2011 at 17:17

Was habe ich da exquisites entdeckt !! als alter Kosmos-und Raumfahrtfan,solch aussergewöhliches Video-und Bildmaterial von Mutter Erde aus, das ist phantastisch! Nun habe ich eine "neue Adresse: Hombressen! Nochmals herzlich DANKE !

04. March 2011 at 17:34

Great images Dirk,what did you use to get them?

Sydney Myers
04. March 2011 at 17:38

Fantastic work! Thank you for sharing this video and the pictures.

Phil in Chicago
04. March 2011 at 17:59

This is one of the most incredible images I have seen. Amazing, way to go Dirk!

04. March 2011 at 18:02

Excellent job. Well done.

04. March 2011 at 18:07

Fantastic! Excellent job Dirk. thank you!

Paul P.
04. March 2011 at 18:26

Would love to know what type of equipment was used to capture this. Again, thanks for the video!

04. March 2011 at 18:49

Outstanding. Thank you for such an amazing view of the station. Looks like there should be a "no vacancy" sign with all the docked vehicles. :)

Donna Andreozzi
04. March 2011 at 20:02

Thank You Dirk ..... Good job......

PaulR in Ireland
04. March 2011 at 20:20

Well done on the stunning photographs. I have seen ISS passing overhead many times but your new sequence of photographs is rather spectacular. Thanks a lot.

Alfredo Martinez (México)
04. March 2011 at 20:25

Thank you Dirk. One amazing picture to one amazing station. Best regards. ¡Excelente imagen Dirk, Felicidades desde México!

04. March 2011 at 23:00

Awesome! Thank you so much for sharing those images and video sequence. I wish I knew what you used to get those images. Gotta get me a better

Michelle Fort Myers FL
04. March 2011 at 23:09


04. March 2011 at 23:29

Terrific! I wonder what kind of equipment you used to capture this. Thank you for sharing Dirk.

codie Q
04. March 2011 at 23:36

WONDERFUL!Dirk, Wish we could see more. Thank you so much

04. March 2011 at 23:37

Great job Dirk. Thank you.

Joe, Springfield, IL
05. March 2011 at 03:31

Awesome, we love to watch the ISS go over Illinois. My boys and I did see Discovery on the launch pad in Oct 2010. Thanks Dirk and thanks Discovery, you will be missed!

Frans in Zoetermeer (The Netherlands)
05. March 2011 at 05:08

Amazing pictures! I've seen the ISS as a bright star, but this is really fantastic. Thanks a lot, Dirk!

Glen Hofstetter
05. March 2011 at 05:51

Still think the moon landing was a conspiracy?

05. March 2011 at 06:26

Great job Dirk, we are very pleased by this wonderful picture. Hugs from Mexico City buddy!

Robert W.
05. March 2011 at 10:35

Amazing sequence, thank's Dirk und Nasa to put this onto Image of the Day ;-))

Dirk Ewers
05. March 2011 at 11:22

Thank you for the nice comments I got here !
There have been some questions about the equippment so I'd like to give short information
about it :
Optics : Takahashi FS 128 refracting telescope (5 inch)
Camera : Skynyx CCD Videocamera 2-0 C
Focal length : 1.050 x 4 = 4.200mm
The telescope has been guided by computer with satellite tracking programm.
It is necessary to have up-to-date orbital data → Two Line Elements (TLE)
to compute the satellite positions and split second time accuracy during tracking

best wishes, Dirk

05. March 2011 at 12:31

Excellent piece of photo..thank Dirk

05. March 2011 at 15:33

Very good job, Excellent video

05. March 2011 at 18:00

Bravissimo !

06. March 2011 at 06:17

Gaaaanz tollll!
Danke D.Ewers
greetz dtna@bln

Dr.Alan Brooker
08. March 2011 at 00:01

I've watched the ISS transit a few times with eyes and binoculars, but your pictures show unprecedented detail. Great work!

10. March 2011 at 12:26

Great job man!!

Julio A (Mexico)
11. March 2011 at 18:15

Great job and excellent!! Dirk. Thank you.

16. March 2011 at 02:42


sandeep pai
20. March 2011 at 16:03

Thank u Mr. Dick Evers. Ur effort wud propel space watchers like me even deaper into our hobby

LMillhouse (California)
31. March 2011 at 18:37

Thank you Dirk for the superb Presentation
12. April 2011 at 20:20

Fabulous work, I observed image angle moving is it from ISS or your camera ?

Eduardo Santana
09. July 2011 at 09:01

Parabéns pela filmagens, a imagem, o foco e centralização ficaram perfeitos, excelente, Parabéns. um grande abraço daqui de São Luís - Maranhão - Brasil. Eduardo L. R. Santana ( )

antonio mercadoh
29. January 2012 at 20:41

Beautifull Beautifull Bautifull!!!