Back in the beginning of February SpaceX launched their Falcon Heavy rocket
to much fanfare and excitement. This test launch also had a test payload:
Starman, a mannequin in a prototype SpaceX space suit behind the wheel of a
cherry red Tesla Roadster. Spaceman was successfully inserted into a heliocentric
orbit and there he’ll remain for millions of years.
For a few days Spaceman was close enough to earth to be visible by professional
grade telescopes. As an employee of a company that builds and deploys
a network of robotic telescopes I had to see if I could
get an image of this guy.
Dr. Tim lister and I both set up observations, but of course Tim’s (who studies
near earth objects) came back in better quality. I did some stacking and scaling
and ended up with a .gif. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Starman in 9 parts:
The image consists of 9x32 second exposures on one of our 1 Meter telescopes in
Cerro Tololo, Chile. The images were captured around 2018-02-09 08:43 UTC.
See if you can find the faintly visible galaxy in the top left corner of