This morning at Purdue University, the International Space Station passed over the Gateway to the Future Arch beautifully at Purdue for the first time during the 2016-17 school year, here’s Group #SpotTheStation 13!

I woke up at 5:45am this morning to pack up my gear and go watch the ISS flyover the Gateway to the Future Arch here at Purdue University with 5 of my friends.

The sky was nearly 100% clear at the time of walking outside and heading over to the Arch. Once arriving to the Arch, I saw the constellation Orion for the first time since January of this year and it was sitting awesomely centered atop the Gateway Arch.

I recently ordered a 10ft USB 3.0 cable and a stool off Amazon so I could use Adobe Lightroom’s tethered capture feature when taking photos on campus, and I thought I would try that out for the first time this morning since I had given myself enough time to set up.

Here was my setup:

From left to right:


Canon T5i

Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM

Joby GorillaPod Focus + BallHead X


Folding Stool + my retina MacBook Pro + 10ft USB 3 cable


Canon 7D MkII

Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 fisheye

Underneath my tall tripod is Tom Crockett’s Nikon / Gorillapod + BallHead X

The pass was forecasted to peak and fly right through the top of Orion:

It was also going to be a great pass for the southeastern areas of the Midwest US and East coast.

I setup a shot with the T5i + 50mm right on Orion to capture a medium close-up of it zipping through (constellation lines overlaid):


I love the 50mm for constellation shooting because with the wide aperture you can capture great detail, just look at the Orion Nebula! (vertical line of stars just below his belt)

We waited about 10 mins for the ISS to emerge from the shadow of the Earth, and there it was. She flew right through Orion, nearly right over the top of Betelgeuse (orange star at the top left of Orion)

What resulted from the group shot is probably my favorite, to date:

Though it appears the ISS is moving from left to right in the image, it is actually emerging from the shadow of the Earth, experiencing an orbital sunrise on-board, as it becomes illuminated.

ISS Orbital Sunrise

ISS Orbital Sunrise | NASA

Just like how the moon fades from warmer to cooler colors as it rises:

the hue of the ISS streak fades as well from a warm to cool blue throughout the rest of the pass:

I was even able to capture a BTS of the setup and us waving with my GoPro.


I think I’ve really gotten the hang of color correction and enjoy how my photos are turning out lately.

Here’s a GIF of all the frames together, which is so fun to watch:

GIF of ISS pass at Purdue University | September 5th, 2016

Here is my friend Tom Crockett’s resulting photo from the morning, so cool!

A photo posted by Tom Crockett (@tcrock38) on

Thanks for reading! If you want to stay up to date when to look for the ISS, you can subscribe to NASA’s EMail / Text alerts here as well as follow me on:

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