ISS Sightings

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by K6LCS, Apr 12, 2012.

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  1. K6LCS

    K6LCS XML Subscriber

    Just watched the ISS streak across the Southern Californian sky for THIRD night in a row!!!

    Can hardly wait to talk to flight engineer Pettit aboard the ISS next week ...

    http://www.iss-flabob.com

    Clint
     
  2. KX0Z

    KX0Z Ham Member

    Yeah its pretty neat to see it fly overhead. I guess there was a high altitude 6 min pass the other night here but I was sleeping and missed it..
     
  3. KG0UFO

    KG0UFO Ham Member

    The ISS passed over me the other night at about 46 degrees and a brightness of -3.1 magnitude. It was super bright, and super cool!

    Mike
    KG7UFO
     
  4. N3GGT

    N3GGT Ham Member

    I saw the ISS pass last nite at 2104 local time. It was very bright. I live where there is hardly amy light pollution.
     
  5. AA0CW

    AA0CW Ham Member

    One night when I lived in Arkansas, I was standing outside the house looking up at dusk. In my old neighborhood everyone walked at that time so about 20 or so neighbors stopped and asked what I was looking at. I pointed to this square shaped bright light zooming overhead and said it was the ISS. The neighbors were amazed they could see it and how much detail you could make out. It was like that scene in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

    Here in Colorado, no neighbors, and cows can't look up for some reason, but I see it zoom overhead all the time. It's as big of a thrill as the first time I saw it.

    And yes I wave.
     
  6. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member

    2 years ago, had a great pass -- with Shuttle chasing. Just before it went into eclipse, got a flash off the ISS solar arrays -- that wakes you up!!
     
  7. KX0Z

    KX0Z Ham Member

    Interesting that you say you could see detail. I have never been able to see detail even using binoculars....
     
  8. W5PFG

    W5PFG Premium Subscriber

    Agree +1 with W9GB... Seeing the arrays and a shuttle approach was amazing !!!
     
  9. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member

    No, not details of ISS -- you would need a small telescope and good digital camera.
    The Shuttle is visible to naked eye, appears at a lower magnitude than ISS --
    it's reflection is assisted by open payload doors and pointed toward Earth.

    The ISS solar arrays can create an Iridium style flash -- these are not easily predicted,
    since it involves rotation of the solar arrays to a favorable angle.
    The ISS did reorient its solar arrays before shuttle dockings -- so those were opportunities to look.

    Iridium satellite flare
    http://www.twanight.org/newtwan/photos.asp?ID=3002631

    IF you have a visible pass that enters eclipse (invisible) during an overhead pass --
    That can sometimes produce the "right conditions"

    http://www.assa.org.au/observing/iridium/

    These flashes or flares can reach -8 magnitude (brighter than Venus).
    This photo on APOD caught an Iridium flare on a May 2, 2000 at sunset.
    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap000502.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2012
  10. KX0Z

    KX0Z Ham Member

    No, not you that was directed toward K0bam. I'm quite aware that one isn't going to see any detail naked eye...
     
  11. AA0CW

    AA0CW Ham Member

    Ok thanks for telling me what I saw and didn't see. Geeze. I guess "detail" was the wrong word. No I didn't see astronauts waving from the windows, but it was obvious it was the ISS.

    And I still enjoy watching it zoom overhead.
     
  12. KX0Z

    KX0Z Ham Member

    Well you used the word detail and made it sound like you could make out features naked eye on the ISS. That simply isn't possible with the naked eye. Like I have said I even tried with 9X63 binoculars and it was still a pinpoint. Figuring the human eye has a angular resolution of about 1 minute of arc and the ISS is around 40 to 50 arc seconds in angular diameter on average, its gonna be very difficult to see any kind of detail. Adding to difficulty, the ISS is very bright when close and the glare off the solar panels would also make it difficult.


    As long as you enjoyed watching it zoom overhead is all that counts though I guess.
     
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