Look, Up in the Sky … It’s a Space Station!

starparty.gifTonight is a great opportunity to spot the space station and the space shuttle docked to it.

It should be visible this evening at about 9:16 PM traveling from west to east.

See more info here in this article and at NASA’s site. There are two other opportunities, including Saturday and Monday as well.

I’m going to see if I can catch a photo of it. Which of course will simply look like a photo of the sky with a big bright line across it. Coolness!

UPDATE: Well, I gave it a try. I’m pretty sure I saw it, but as it got close to the moon, it was completely lost to my view. I have a lovely and pointless series of photos of sky. I’ll try again tomorrow.

7 Replies to “Look, Up in the Sky … It’s a Space Station!”

  1. According to my trusty application Starry Night, it should be visible about 9:14:07 or so, depending on the height of your treeline. Also, it will be visible about 30 degrees north of due west, finishing its arc about 10 degrees south of south east. It will dip below the treeline at about 9:19:30 or so. Also, it will cross the moon at about 9:18:03, which might make for an interesting photograph if you have the right equipment.

  2. I don’t have the right equipment, Stu – but it sounds like you’re halfway there with the right info on where to look and when! (Brains are equipment, right?)

    My treeline is pretty high in the hills so the scope of how much I’ll be able to view is going to be limited.

    Please post back here if you catch something!

  3. I don’t have the camera equipment either, and my telescope won’t do a lot of good because of the speed of the crafts. However, I will use my son’s binoculars and see what I can see. Keep watching the skies! :-)

  4. I missed it because I was looking, reading, and writing on another story!
    Oh well.
    Anyway, what I was looking at is a better sight than the shuttle.
    I am,
    George Vreeland Hill

  5. An excellent resource for shuttle (and other spacecraft) viewing is Chris Peat’s “Heavens Above” at http://www.heavens-above.com/

    It produces star charts, personalized for your location, showing exact trajectories and times of visible satellite passes. The shuttle/space station is one of the most spectacular sights, but there are visible satellites overhead on almost any night.

    (Be sure to check out the section on Iridium Flares, too. These are rather different from regular satellites – they’re bright – sometimes VERY bright – flashes produced by reflections off the solar panels of the Iridium wireless-phone satellites. They’re even more location-specific than regular satellite passes, but they’re a really cool way to startle your friends – look! a spaceship!)

  6. It was too fast for a scope, but I saw it with my buck naked eyes and it was pretty cool (although it was just a dot of light). For me, what was the coolest was knowing that it was a NASA-approved beast with two backs. Meanwhile, Bush is solving the debate on global warming, so we’re ok for now.

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