The Tiangong-2 Chinese space station flies above Rome – 6 Sept. 2018

Among the artificial satellites up there, the Tiangong-2 Chinese space station is one of the most important. It hosted a manned mission only one time, in 2016, being unmanned since then. Here it is the spacecraft while flies above one of the most important museums. It is expected to reenter next July 2019.

The Tiangong-2 flies above the Galleria Borghese Museum in Rome - 6 Sept. 2018

The Tiangong-2 flies above the Galleria Borghese Museum in Rome – 6 Sept. 2018

The Tiangong-2 space station is never as bright as the well-known International Space Spation (ISS), so imaging it is significantly more demanding. Despite this, I wanted to try from Rome, where the light pollution can be a severe obstacle for this kind of observations.

I selected the stunning “Galleria Borghese” museum, as I really love this precious building and the amazing masterpieces hosted there (including Bernini and Caravaggio). I planned the imaging session to cover as much of the Tiangong-2 trail as possible.

I used a Canon 5D mark IV DSLR, coupled with a Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM extreme lens, all installed on a sturdy tripod. I intentionally decided to frame the scenery to have some dynamic appearance of the building, apparently converging to the part of the sky where the Tiangong-2 was going to show.

The image above comes from the merging of several frames: many stars and constellations are visible and the satellite trail is properly labeled.

Accordingly to several news, the Tiangong-2 is scheduled to re-enter on July 2019, ending its mission. You might remember the Tiangong-1 fate earlier this year.

I hope you like it, meantime I’m always waiting for the next satellite pass!

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