Spotting ATV-5 Sunday evening

Faint ATV-5 and International Space Station over Amsterdam Centraal. Credits: Sebastiaan de Vet

Faint ATV-5 and International Space Station over Amsterdam Central Station, The Netherlands via email. Credits: Sebastiaan de Vet

First: A sincere thank you to everyone who spotted ATV-5 last night, Saturday, 14 Feb, and shared their pictures during the last, best, overflight above Western Europe, between about 18:10-18:16 GMT.

We saw some wonderful photos via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram and other channels, and a few of you simply sent your pics directly to us here at the blog.

We’ve already Retweeted some images, and we’re working on posting our favourites; we’ve also ‘liked’ any that we saw in Twitter. Please keep sharing! You guys  rock!

#LastOrbit: Sunday, 15 February, starting 17:14 GMT

While last night was the last, best chance to spot ATV (under optimum illumination conditions), there is another pass over Europe this evening – but this one won’t be ideal for those located in Western Europe.

ATV-5 ground track over Western Europe, 15 February 2015 - on its final orbit before reentry; ATV moves from left to right (West to east); times annotated in GMT. CET = GMT+1

ATV-5 ground track over Western Europe, 15 February 2015 – on its final orbit before reentry; ATV moves from left to right (West to East); times annotated in GMT. CET = GMT+1

Georges Lemaitre over Ottignies, Belgium @18h11 UT via Twitter. Credits: @BigArtimon

Georges Lemaitre over Ottignies, Belgium @18h11 UT via Twitter. Credits: @BigArtimon

As you can see in the map, ATV (again, leading the ISS) will rise in the West on a ground track similar to yesterday’s, but starting about an hour earlier, at about 17:14 GMT (18:14 CET); this means there will still be evening sunlight, and it will be difficult to spot ATV from, say, Ireland, the UK, France, Spain, Germany and so on.

Nonetheless, it’s worth a try and – like last night – if you get any photos, please do share them via Twitter (#ATV5) and let us know where you’re located.

For those located east of Germany (e.g. Poland, Russia, etc.), you guys will have a much better chance to see ATV as it will rise later, coinciding with your local twilight and better illumination conditions. For example, Moscow gets a pretty good chance at 19:44 (Moscow time).

For Australia, ATV-5 makes its final overflight over, for example, Perth, WA, at 04:23 local time.

The nice folks over at NASA have added a special “Spot ATV-5” entry to their Spot The Station web app; just enter your location and it will tell you when ATV-5 will become visible.

ATV-5 and International Space Station over Saxony, Germany. Credits: Alex Springer

ATV-5 and International Space Station over Saxony, Germany via blog comments. Credits: Alex Spiller

 

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