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  STS-120: Sightings and reactions

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Author Topic:   STS-120: Sightings and reactions
mikepf
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Posts: 351
From: San Jose, California, USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 10-29-2007 02:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mikepf   Click Here to Email mikepf     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry it took me a while to post this. I went outside on the evening of the 23rd to watch the shuttle and ISS fly over, but there were trees blocking the view from my yard. So I walked around the block and found a good spot. As the shuttle was flying over, a neighbor came by walking his dog. I must have looked suspicious because he asked me if I was looking for someone's house. I replied that I was watching the space shuttle fly over and pointed to it. He replied "Oh" and went on his way without looking up. I was stunned that he wouldn't even take a glance at it. A week later and I still haven't gotten over it yet. I just wanted to share this expreience. Have any of you had something similar happen?

Regards,
Mikie

art540
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Posts: 432
From: Orange, California USA
Registered: Sep 2006

posted 10-29-2007 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for art540   Click Here to Email art540     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My experience using telescopes and ISS observing in the city is that most people are indifferent or just momentarily interested... sometimes just to be polite.

NavySpaceFan
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Posts: 630
From: Norfolk, VA
Registered: May 2007

posted 10-29-2007 04:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for NavySpaceFan   Click Here to Email NavySpaceFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My neighbors got interested last December when 116/ISS flew right over my front yard. I even got to use the ". . .it's a space station!!!!" line.

tegwilym
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Posts: 2284
From: Renton, WA USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 10-30-2007 12:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yep. I've pointed it out and people will just say "no, that's an airplane" or "you can't see it, it's in space!" or something similar.

I did do a star party last summer and the summer before with an astronomy talk at sunset. I told people that I worked out a deal with NASA for a couple fly-by passes of the ISS. I think some actually believed me.

Sad...

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-04-2007 08:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There will be some pretty cool sights in the sky on early Monday morning before dawn according to this NASA weblink.

Venus will be visible low in the sky, as well as a crescent moon. Saturn will also be visible and so will an exploding comet. But, in addition to that Discovery will be recently undocked from the ISS and flying in parallel formation with it. The pair will be making a pass over the north central US about 1 hour after undocking and at least where I live, it should be visible for five minutes (meaning I should be able to see it during almost the entire pass overhead).

As such, this might be the perfect time to wakeup early at "O dark 30" in the morning to take in a few celestrial sights, some a lot closer then others.

SpaceCadet114
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posted 11-04-2007 08:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceCadet114   Click Here to Email SpaceCadet114     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was showing my friend something about the ISS Friday and my head-teacher came up behind us. She asked me about it, and she said "Where is it?" I thought she meant where is it above, so I told her I didn't know, it orbits the whole earth in about 70 mins. (I think thats about right?) Anyway she looked at me as if I had gone completely mad and said "No, I mean what country is it in? Is it in America, England, Russia?" So I replied, "Erm... It's in space, that's why they call it the international SPACE station." And naturally, she said I was being cheeky (Which I was) and I got a detention. Can anyone give me any suggestions as to what I should have said? I swear she had no idea it was in space, I thought the floaty hair in the picture would have given her a clue, but evidently not.

Delta7
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Posts: 1153
From: Ossian IN USA
Registered: Oct 2007

posted 11-04-2007 08:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mikepf:
Have any of you had something similar happen?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people with the attitude that if you can't eat or drink it, get titillated by it or make money off of it, they're just not interested. That is and probably always will be human nature.

I've run into people who genuinely assume the Shuttle flies to the moon, and that people have flown to Mars. They have no clue about the program, don't ever give it more than 10 seconds of thought, and simply don't care. Sad.

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 11-04-2007 10:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceCadet114:
... Can anyone give me any suggestions as to what I should have said? I swear she had no idea it was in space, ...


I find that when someone asks a question like that it is best just to give the straight answer. People who have no previous knowledge of a subject will not give it much thought and just ask the first thing that comes to mind. A straight answer to a silly question will, for the most part, evolve into a serious conversation on the subject once they know that you have a keen interest and are well versed on the subject.

As an example, a person I know thought that Alaska and Hawaii were just off the coast of California (this was an adult of 30 plus years). That is because the maps in school showed them as an inset there. It appeared that geography was not that personís strong subject. It would have been easy to ridicule and make fun of the obvious mistake; instead we took out the globe and turned into a great dissuasion on where countries and areas are.

kyra
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Posts: 507
From: Louisville CO US
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 11-04-2007 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kyra   Click Here to Email kyra     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cadet 114, Sorry for your experience.
BTW (90 minutes is more accurate).

That story of a head-teacher giving detention sounds like a way of punishing a student to hide her ignorance. Ignorant people that think they are more important than the rest often will do things like this. This is a hard fact of life to learn as you are growing up. People hate to have their ignorance exposed. A wise person will admit their ignorance and wish to be informed. A wise teacher will pass on intellect and wish to know more. They will also realize they are a public servant.

This makes me extremely angry.
1)A teacher in a civilized nation is unaware of the International Space Station. (Excusable if she teaches Physical Education, Drivers Education, or Cooking)

2) To cover her embarassment she weilds her power to punish the fact that she observed your behavior as cheeky. Yes, cheeky behavior is rude, but she could have said "I don't like the mean way you said that, but I am interested in hearing more on what you have to say. I don't know much about this, but I probably should know more."

As a side project you may wish to study primate behavior. This is encoded in human genetics. Study particularly the alpha male.
This is the only consolation I can offer as an excuse for her attitude towards you. Realize this and you can understand that intellect sometimes can override this genetic program, but sadly for some people it doesn't.

If your'e still hurt over this incident take what you have learned here and talk to someone you trust such as a parent or counselor. Even if we don't like the actions of this teacher we still have to study under them for another 6 months or more.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-04-2007 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just assume you will get strange questions and responses about space and astronomy and you will be ok. Once the "strange" moment goes by you can respond without regard to the initial words and be an informative person.

SpaceCadet114
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posted 11-04-2007 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceCadet114   Click Here to Email SpaceCadet114     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by kyra:
A teacher in a civilized nation is unaware of the International Space Station. (Excusable if she teaches Physical Education, Drivers Education, or Cooking).

She taught RE. And about a year ago we had a "space week" at school, which she organised,and we had speakers from the British National Space Centre who discussed the ISS. She doesn't teach now though, she's just the head.

KSCartist
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Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 11-04-2007 06:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got a beautiful look at the ISS/Discovery complex as it flew over at 5:27am this morning. It passed betwween Venus and the crescent Moon. I'm sure some of you great photographers will have pictures (Ben?)

Tim

Ben
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Posts: 1843
From: Daytona Beach, FL
Registered: May 2000

posted 11-04-2007 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't get up for it this morning. Maybe tomorrow; we have a 45-degree pass literally 17 minutes after undocking. If I can force myself out of bed!

MarylandSpace
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Posts: 961
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Registered: Aug 2002

posted 11-05-2007 05:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's tomorrow!

Woke up this morning about 5:15 before the alarm in anticipation. . . looked outside to see the sky (and/or cloud) condition.

Venus and beautiful crescent Moon jumped out at me.

At about 5:50 Eastern time, racing from the SW to the NE were the Shuttle and ISS. . . about as bright as I've ever seen the racing "stars."

The only disappointment (did I say "disappointment?") was that there was no separation to the visible eye of the two. I am hopeful that one of our outstanding photographers was able to catch the images.

Off to shower and work. Good day.

Garry

Cliff Lentz
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Posts: 639
From: Philadelphia, PA USA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 11-05-2007 05:23 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Cliff Lentz   Click Here to Email Cliff Lentz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a great morning! In checking the NASA website on the astronomical event (Venus, Crescent Moon, Saturn and the Comet Holmes) I noticed the flight path of ISS would pass over my area right after undocking. Usually the city lights of Philadelphia obscure the view, but this morning, everything was crystal clear. I'm standing out in the cold with my laptop and there it is!!!! My first positive sighting!

Cliff

GACspaceguy
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Posts: 1394
From: Guyton, GA
Registered: Jan 2006

posted 11-05-2007 05:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GACspaceguy   Click Here to Email GACspaceguy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MarylandSpace:
...there was no separation to the visible eye of the two...
Same thing here on the coast of Georgia, but what a sight it was!!!!

PowerCat
Member

Posts: 148
From: Herington, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 11-05-2007 06:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The ISS and shuttle just passed over the great State of Kansas just a few minutes ago. The vehicles passed almost at a 90 degree overhead which I had never seen before. The view was tremendous seeing Venus and the crescent moon as previously mentioned. I don't mind saying it brought a tear or two. Like the farewell ceremony yesterday! The ISS appeared the brighter object with the shuttle trailing behind. And the shuttle disappeared quicker than the ISS once the vehicle approached sunrise.

Quite an experience!

PowerCat

Jay Chladek
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Posts: 2211
From: Bellevue, NE, USA
Registered: Aug 2007

posted 11-05-2007 06:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just saw the pair myself as they passed over eastern Nebraska. The ISS was in front and at the high point was certainly the brightest of the pair (about half the brightness of Venus), but early on both the ISS and Discovery appeared to be almost the same level of brightness. It amazed me how much distance the orbiter opened on the ISS with the final separation burn only coming about 8 minutes before I saw them.

Now Discovery just needs to come home safe and I will be even more happy. I didn't really have a chance to shed a tear as I was too busy shivering in the cold biting wind (I warmed up a little when they appeared though). But the sight was worth it.

Edited by Jay Chladek on November 05, 2007 at 06:46 AM.

Lunar rock nut
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Posts: 680
From: Oklahoma city, Oklahoma U.S.A.
Registered: Feb 2007

posted 11-05-2007 07:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lunar rock nut   Click Here to Email Lunar rock nut     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also watched from my 2nd story balcony here in OKC great 5 min pass started at 6:20a.m. Shuttle was chasing about two degrees behind the ISS. Took a couple of pic's with a 3.2 mega pixel canon nothing to write home about.

Terry

tegwilym
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Posts: 2284
From: Renton, WA USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 11-05-2007 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceCadet114:
So I replied, "Erm... It's in space, that's why they call it the international SPACE station." And naturally, she said I was being cheeky (Which I was) and I got a detention.

I love your response! You should have gotten extra credit, not punishment.

Tom

PowerCat
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Posts: 148
From: Herington, KS, USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 11-06-2007 05:25 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for PowerCat   Click Here to Email PowerCat     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just saw another beautiful pass of the ISS and Shuttle at 5:12 CST. A shorter duration than yesterday morning, but still about 3 minutes in length. It was amazing to see the distance between ISS and the Discovery have about tripled from 24 hours ago. It was cool to see the two vehicles pass through the Venus/crescent Moon gap. Add another spectacular view. I'm looking forward to seeing the reentry fly over NE Kansas tomorrow, if deorbit occurs on time.

PowerCat

robsouth
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Posts: 607
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 11-06-2007 05:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not everyone gets as excited as us at these things. How excited would you be if you were walking over a bridge and you spotted a neighbour and he said "If you wait a minute you will be able to see a BH1104 Diesel Locomotive pass underneath"? You'd probably say oh! and walk on leaving him wondering how on earth you couldn't get excited by train spotting. I made that name up by the way before you ask haha!

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