Author Topic: ISS sightings  (Read 724 times)

Offline QuietElite

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ISS sightings
« on: May 19, 2017, 10:28:00 PM »
I just watched the ISS pass about the sky at 4AM local time. I will try it again tomorrow at about the same time.
Do any of you guys also occasionally watch the sky? I think this could be my new weekend hobby during sleepless nights  ;D

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 10:53:50 PM »
I try to watch the ISS pass over head whenever I can. It never gets old.
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth.
I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth.
I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Offline Allan F

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2017, 09:32:04 AM »
I've seen it a few times. Once, when I was out late night for a very nice open-air lecture by an astronomer, we saw it pass quite high on the sky. Another time, when out shooting sunrise long-exposure pics, it also came by, this time lower. I have an app on my phone, I can look at to see it's actual position.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline bknight

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2017, 02:20:55 PM »
I have watched I it a couple of times also.
Truth needs no defense.  Nobody can take those footsteps I made on the surface of the moon away from me.
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Offline Trebor

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2017, 05:06:02 PM »
I've seen it a few times. Once, when I was out late night for a very nice open-air lecture by an astronomer, we saw it pass quite high on the sky. Another time, when out shooting sunrise long-exposure pics, it also came by, this time lower. I have an app on my phone, I can look at to see it's actual position.
What is the app you use?

Offline QuietElite

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2017, 06:21:19 PM »
I've seen it a few times. Once, when I was out late night for a very nice open-air lecture by an astronomer, we saw it pass quite high on the sky. Another time, when out shooting sunrise long-exposure pics, it also came by, this time lower. I have an app on my phone, I can look at to see it's actual position.
What is the app you use?
I use ISS onLive for the position and the NASA app for sighting opportunities

Offline smartcooky

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2017, 07:06:02 PM »
I just watched the ISS pass about the sky at 4AM local time. I will try it again tomorrow at about the same time.
Do any of you guys also occasionally watch the sky? I think this could be my new weekend hobby during sleepless nights  ;D

It won't necessarily pass over at the same time Or at any time, the next day

If you have a smartphone, there is a free App called "ISS Detector" (it actually doesn't "detect" the ISS, it predicts when it will pass over your location with a high degree of accuracy).  http://www.issdetector.com/

It shows the ISS predicted path across the sky, how bright it will be, and it has a "pointer" that uses a built-in compass and electronic level to show you the elevation and direction to look. It also predicts the passage and visibility of Iridium Satellites which can flare as bright as -9 (that's about 100 times brighter than Venus at its brightest).
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 08:00:42 PM by smartcooky »
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Offline Geordie

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2017, 08:22:23 PM »
I just watched the ISS pass about the sky at 4AM local time. I will try it again tomorrow at about the same time.
Do any of you guys also occasionally watch the sky? I think this could be my new weekend hobby during sleepless nights  ;D
  This was a long time ago (in addition to being off-topic,) but in early 1999 I was outside at night with a friend who just happened to spot Mir early in its trip across the sky. The bonus was an unmanned garbage barge that had recently been jettisoned to burn up, the two moving in tandem about a degree or so apart.
.           She's on fire\  And she burns through the night at the speed of light\
             She's on fire\  With the heat of the beat right beneath her feet\
              She's on fire\  And the name of the game is to fuel her flame\
               She's on fire, fire, fire, fire, fire!

Offline onebigmonkey

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2017, 01:20:14 AM »
I love seeing it. I did take my binoculars out once and like to think I could make out the solar arrays, but I suspect it was wishful thinking. I did snap this though:



Offline nomuse

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2017, 01:49:09 AM »
I've caught it a couple of times. First time I thought I'd made a mistake and caught an airplane because it was so bright.

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2017, 05:03:44 AM »
Go to Calsky and create an account. Then you can see when the ISS and others will be visible. Iridium flares are also fun to try and spot - again Calsky will accurately predict them for you.
"Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur"
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Offline Allan F

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2017, 06:20:52 AM »
I've seen it a few times. Once, when I was out late night for a very nice open-air lecture by an astronomer, we saw it pass quite high on the sky. Another time, when out shooting sunrise long-exposure pics, it also came by, this time lower. I have an app on my phone, I can look at to see it's actual position.
What is the app you use?

"ISS Rapid Locator" - it's free, and shows a world map with the ISS position on.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.

Offline Kiwi

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2017, 06:21:32 AM »
I've watched the ISS regularly during evening passes, and previously watched MIR. When there are widespread clear skies and it travels SW to NE along most of New Zealand (which it has been doing since 16 May and finishes doing tomorrow night) I post on the message board at Trade Me, the NZ equivalent of Ebay.

The most recent post:

Quote
International Space Station tonight 17 May 2017

The ISS will be visible to the whole country if skies are clear between about 6:47:00 and 6:53:29.

It passes along west of the South Island from 6:49:30 to 6:52:00 then directly above Cape Egmont about 6:52:30 and New Plymouth seconds later, then roughly above Otorohanga, Cambridge, Matamata and Waihi. Goes into Earth's shadow NE of Waihi at 6:53:29.

Ground track map:
http://www.heavens-above.com/gtrack.aspx?satid=25544&mjd
=57890.2866657177&lat=-40.3033333&lng=175.2452778&am
p;loc=Manawatu&alt=5&tz=NZST

Manawatu figures
 6:47:21 Rises, SW, 2363 km distant, not yet visible
 6:49:27 Altitude 10º, WSW, 1496 km distant
 6:52:47 Altitude 68º, NW, 452 km distant
 6:53:29 Goes into shadow, altitude 49º, NNE, 541 km distant

dbb (61 positive feedback) 4:24 pm, Wed 17 May #1

Unfortunately most of the country clouded over in the early evening, so few saw it.  I got three 5- to 10-second glimpses. But it's nice when there are kids outside all over the country, waving to the astronauts. There was nobody to wave to when I saw Sputnik 1, or the rocket which put it up.

I've also watched the ISS on five consecutive passes in one night during two different summers - it only happens close to the summer solstice. The first time was on the night of 29-30 December 2007 at 9:25 pm, 11:00, 12:40 am, 2:12 and 3:48. Second was 27-28 December 2015, maximum height at 10:02:28, 11:38:44, 1:15:51, 2:53:20 and 4:30:34. There was another chance of seeing five passes last November.

Luckily I live under a near-dark sky and often go out to look at the night sky and feel sorry for the northern-hemisphere folk who can't see Omega Centaurii, the two Magellanic clouds, and our other southern wonders. Supernova 1987A was a great naked-eye sight, even with street lights also in sight.

Sometimes I look for and photograph the green flash of the sun as it sets over the Tasman Sea - apparently the green flash is not as rare here as it is north of the equator.

I also look out for the brightest Iridium flares, and have shown nearby kids ordinary satellites when there are five or more showing up within less than ten minutes. The Heavens-Above website makes it easy to see such things.
http://www.heavens-above.com

Nice daytime shot of the ISS and astronauts over NZ on 14 Dec 2006. I'm at the very top of the picture, just below the topmost coastal forest. Hidden behind a pixel though.
http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/165304main_image_feature_719_ys_full.jpg

« Last Edit: May 21, 2017, 06:47:12 AM by Kiwi »
Don't criticize what you can't understand. — Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are A-Changin'” (1963)
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Offline ka9q

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2017, 10:17:47 PM »
While out camping a few weeks ago I caught the ISS quite by accident. I'd told my sisters that in the California desert, you can look straight up for about an hour after sunset and not wait long to see some orbiting object, still lit by the sun. So I looked up and saw what I thought were two airplanes. Then I realized that only one was an airplane, and the other was probably a satellite. When it crossed the terminator and winked out, that confirmed it. It was so bright that began to wonder if it was the ISS.  I checked the predictions and sure enough. And I hadn't even planned it.

There was an even better pass the following night, and I was also ready with my portable 2m/70cm ham transceiver. Not only did the ISS make an impressive appearance, its packet signals were extremely strong on 145.825 MHz using just the small built-in antenna.

Offline Allan F

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Re: ISS sightings
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2017, 05:14:57 PM »
Just saw it again 20 minutes ago. It was high on the south sky, quite visible even though the sky wasn't very dark at that time. I immediatly recognized it by its speed and brightness.  Even from behind the wheel of my car.
Well, it is like this: The truth doesn't need insults. Insults are the refuge of a darkened mind, a mind that refuses to open and see. Foul language can't outcompete knowledge. And knowledge is the result of education. Education is the result of the wish to know more, not less.