Remember that expensive bag of tools a spacewalking astronaut let go of last week? Now you can see it from Earth — if you've got a telescope.
Amateur astronomer Kevin Fetter caught video of the orbiting object from his Brockville, Ontario backyard Saturday, and posted it online for all to see.
"I don't have any [professional] background in astronomy," Fetter admitted to The Age of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. "Just one night I looked up at the night sky and got hooked on astronomy. It was many years later that I started satellite observing."
Fetter used an orbital calculator on the astronomy Web site SpaceWeather.com to determine exactly when the lost bag, estimated to cost about $100,000 once the specialized tools are factored in, would be passing overhead.
"Depending on the size of the object and how much light its surface reflects will determine if I can see it, and get it on video," he told The Age.
Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper accidentally released the tether holding the bag to the International Space Station during the current space shuttle mission's first spacewalk on Nov. 18.
It contained two grease guns that were specially fitted to lubricate joints on the space station's huge solar-panel arrays, both of which need to turn to face the sun in order for the orbiting habitat to attain full power.
"Oh, great," Stefanyshyn-Piper said as it drifted away into space.
Experts say the bag and its contents will eventually harmlessly burn up in the Earth's atmosphere, though it poses a risk to the space station and other orbiting satellites until then.