The Evening Star and satellite over Dowth


Venus, the 'Evening Star', pictured over Dowth at twilight, with a passing satellite.

While I was taking photos of Venus, I suddenly saw this very bright, slow-moving object. I took a photo as quickly as I could as the object moved slowly southwestwards and faded. I thought it was an 'Iridium flash', named after the Iridium satellites that are known to reflect sunlight to earth and suddenly become very bright. On returning home, using the Stellarium program, I found out that the satellite was, in fact, COSMO-Skymed 3. This is a member of a constellation of satellites which are used for earth observation funded by the Italian Ministry of Research and Ministry of Defence and conducted by the Italian Space Agency.