International Space Station spotted above Hartlepool

LIGHT FANTASTIC: Russ Norman's fantastic picture of the International Space Station above town
LIGHT FANTASTIC: Russ Norman's fantastic picture of the International Space Station above town

THIS stunning shot shows two explorers from very different eras.

It features the International Space Station (ISS) as it makes its way over Hartlepool – above the town’s own historic explorer HMS Trincomalee.

The fascinating scene was captured by Russ Norman, a digital marketing officer for Cleveland College of Art and Design.

The ISS is a large spacecraft orbiting the earth.

The first part of the ISS was launched by a Russian rocket in 1998 and astronauts from various countries have been living on it since 2000.

The Trincomalee, meanwhile, was built in 1816 in the Wadia shipyards in Bombay, India, and spent her early years serving waters off North America and West Indies.

The ISS orbits about 220 miles above the Earth and NASA uses the station to learn about living and working in space.

These lessons will help NASA explore space. It has been seen above the town over the past few days and Russ says it will continue to be seen until the end of the month.

Russ, 28, who is originally from Spennymoor but is living in the town’s Dyke House area, takes photographs and films as a hobby.

He has been tracking the ISS using an app on his phone, so knew exactly where it would be.He set up his camera in the car park behind the Jackson’s Wharf pub and snapped the ISS at 9.50pm on Tuesday.

Russ said: “I had the camera set on automatic so once I had the shutter pressed down I was able to enjoy it.

“It was moving surprisingly fast.

“I suppose the picture is a bit of an accomplishment, after planning it, checking the weather and having my equipment ready.”

He said he used a “bulb shot” which saw the lens open for a minute and 40 seconds, creating the “streak of light” effect.

Russ added that it was his idea to show the Trincomalee and ISS in the picture as “the ship is quite iconic for Hartlepool and I really wanted to show the town”.

His picture has received a lot of attention on social media, with around 30 retweets and 30 favourites.