ISS and Astronaut seen from Earth

Credit & Copyright: Ralf Vandebergh
Explanation: These two frames, taken with a video camera and a telescope, reveal remarkable details of the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting some 350 kilometers above planet Earth. Recorded during last month's visit by the crew of shuttle orbiter Discovery on mission STS-119, the pictures show extended solar arrays glinting in bright sunlight against a dark sky. They also likely capture the blurred image of a spacewalking astronaut during the mission's EVA-2 (Extravehicular Activity-2)! The astronaut is installing equipment along one of the station's truss assemblies. Astronomer Ralf Vandebergh, who often images the ISS during its favorable passes through Dutch skies, comments that no other bright ISS structures occupy the position indicated in the inset, and that a reflective, white-suited astronaut would be visible against the truss and correspond to the bright blur. Vandebergh notes that the timing and location further suggest the spacewalker is STS-119 astronaut Joseph Acaba.

Medieval Astronomy

Medieval Astronomy from Melk Abbey

Discovered by accident, this manuscript page provides graphical insight to astronomy in
medieval times, before the Renaissance and the influence of Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho de Brahe, Johannes Kepler, and Galileo.
The intriguing page is from lecture notes on astronomy compiled by the monk Magister Wolfgang de Styria before the year 1490 at Melk Abbey in Austria.
The top panels clearly illustrate the necessary geometry for a lunar (left) and solar eclipse in the Earth-centered
Ptolemaic system.
At lower left is a diagram of thePtolemaic view of the solar system and at the lower right is a chart to calculate thedate of Easter Sunday in theJulian calendar.
Text at the upper right explains themovementof the planets according to the Ptolemaic system.
The actual manuscript page is on view at historicMelk Abbey as part of aspecial exhibition during the International Year of Astronomy.