Space News
space history and artifacts articles

Messages
space history discussion forums

Sightings
worldwide astronaut appearances

Resources
selected space history documents

Websites
related space history websites

  collectSPACE: Messages
  Space Shuttles - Space Station
  Station-spotting: ISS and spacecraft sightings (Page 1)

Post New Topic  Post A Reply
profile | register | preferences | faq | search


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 
next newest topic | next oldest topic
Author Topic:   Station-spotting: ISS and spacecraft sightings
MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 1056
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 07-20-2008 05:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just checked out the Heavens Above website and it appears that North American cS readers will have a few great opportunities this week to view the International Space Station.

blue_eyes
Member

Posts: 162
From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 07-20-2008 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blue_eyes   Click Here to Email blue_eyes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unbelievable. I'm just stunned, waaaaay stunned... if you couldn't tell, my first time seeing the ISS "live" with the naked eye!

We didn't hold up much hope when we stepped outside more than a half-hour ago — the humidity was so thick that you could slice it with a knife. So I was straining to see a pinhead in the sky, a tiny moving dot that was supposed to be quite bright tonight. HOLY COW — all of a sudden this THING appeared in the sky, it was this HUGE THING, right on cue where my "little dot" was supposed to be!! It was insanely huge, just the most glowing beautiful orange shape moving silently across the sky. Even with the unaided eye you could tell it had an uneven shape, it was just that big and obvious. And bright!! My husband and I joked that they must have left all the lights on for us! What an amazing and most beautiful sight to behold, and on such an auspicious day in space history.

A big thank you for the heads up! I'll never forget this, ever.

katabatic
Member

Posts: 72
From: Oak Hill, VA, USA
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 07-21-2008 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for katabatic   Click Here to Email katabatic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I dragged the whole family out, and we just watched it go over. First time any of us had seen it. Viewing conditions were perfect here in Northern Virginia.

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 1056
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 07-21-2008 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Glad you had a great experience... you could get hooked like me. I saw it last night and again tonight. Always awesome.

Mr Meek
Member

Posts: 351
From: Chattanooga, TN
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 07-21-2008 11:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It was far too cloudy to see it from here tonight. However, last month, I had an opportunity to watch it with a group of kids at camp. That was a neat experience.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 07-22-2008 02:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Success!

robsouth
Member

Posts: 659
From: West Midlands, UK
Registered: Jun 2005

posted 07-22-2008 03:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for robsouth     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those are some impressive ground based images. I remember seeing Mir on it's last day in orbit and it practically scorched across the sky it was travelling so fast.

RMH
Member

Posts: 563
From: Ohio
Registered: Mar 2001

posted 07-22-2008 07:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for RMH   Click Here to Email RMH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the original post. I was able to go out and see it last night. Only my second sighting, very impressive sight. I hadn't paid to much attention to the location until this post so I am very happy to have seen it yet again.

jasonelam
Member

Posts: 488
From: Monticello, KY USA
Registered: Mar 2007

posted 08-04-2008 10:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I cant believe it! My daughter and I just got back from the store, I opened my car door, looked to the western sky, and.....saw ISS pass overhead! It was a bright orange star passing west to east and stayed bright for about 30 seconds, then it faded away as it reached the top of the sky. I thought at the moment that it was ISS, then checked Heavens Above, and sure enough it was ISS! A great moment to share with my 5 year old daughter, who asked me if there were aliens aboard it who might land! LOL

cspg
Member

Posts: 4726
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 08-05-2008 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I found this site to be far more simple and straightfoward to use.

The ISS flew over Geneva West-South East on Aug.3 around 10:06pm. Truly amazing as the station flew overhead, it gained in brightness: pretty close (or even brighter) to Venus. I've never seen it that bright.

Mr Meek
Member

Posts: 351
From: Chattanooga, TN
Registered: Dec 2007

posted 08-07-2008 02:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow. Last night was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ms Meek is still in St Louis, visiting her family. Thanks to Heavens-Above, we were able to watch the ISS pass directly overhead even though we were separated by hundreds of miles. It truly was a special moment not likely to be duplicated in our lives.

(And yes, I know the ISS will make much the same pass tomorrow evening. However, Ms Meek will be in another town by then. Let me have my dramatic language, darn it! )

music_space
Member

Posts: 1071
From: Canada
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 10-12-2008 02:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for music_space   Click Here to Email music_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Check this ISS Lunar transit

The context of the picture was explained on this excellent, daily-refreshed site, but daily archives aren't available so the detailed explanation and credits can't be seen anymore. The picture was taken by an amateur astronomer who rushed to his gear after seeing the ISS with the naked eye 20 minutes ... before sunset!

ISS's magnitude had to be unusually strong to allow such a sighting. Indeed, it seems as bright as the Moon, per surface area.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 01-24-2009 04:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally got somewhat clear night, at least clear if you consider a high cirrus layer "clear" but here in Seattle we take what we can.

I got a chance to capture the ISS again after months of bad weather every time there was a good pass. I don't do morning passes, I sleep!

I have it up on my blog page here.

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3208
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-24-2009 06:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice one Tom. One of your best.

ASCAN1984
Member

Posts: 1021
From: County Down, Nothern Ireland
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 01-24-2009 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ASCAN1984   Click Here to Email ASCAN1984     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tom, brilliant picture. One to treasure!!!

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-30-2009 08:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Finally got some clearing tonight, but of course it became a "sucker hole" when the time finally arrived. Got a brief peek at the ISS with the scope tonight. Got one decent image.

...and read the frustration if you want.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 03-30-2009 01:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm amazed at the resolution that people get on good ISS passes!

Has anyone ever been able to capture a photo of an astronaut on EVA? It looks like they might just be detectable if lighting conditions and orientation are right.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-31-2009 05:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
Has anyone ever been able to capture a photo of an astronaut on EVA?
Possibly yes. Check out this photo from Ralf Vandebergh.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 03-31-2009 09:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Holy bleep! We read about the ability of space-based observation platforms to capture small details on the ground, but seldom stop to think that it can work in the other direction!

neke
Member

Posts: 55
From: PA
Registered: Jan 2009

posted 05-11-2009 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for neke   Click Here to Email neke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just saw the ISS pass through the sky from Beaver County, PA...it was exciting for me because I've never seen it before, and my kids were thrilled to see it too! The combination of clear sky in western PA/remembering to look up the times when it's passing/me being home and awake/the kids being awake is pretty rare. It was really cool to see!

spaceman1953
Member

Posts: 942
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 05-11-2009 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Congrats, in just a little over 45 minutes, we get our turn: 6 minutes and 61 degrees HIGH! Almost as "high" as we will be when we see it fly over!

spaceman48263
Member

Posts: 75
From: Michigan
Registered: Aug 2004

posted 05-11-2009 09:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman48263     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Will be over metro Detroit at 10:21 going out to see it now!

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 05-11-2009 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Got my fingers crossed that it stays clear for another hour. Got a 89 degree pass over Seattle then. Hoping to get a shot of it!

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 05-12-2009 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
Hoping to get a shot of it!
Got it, but no good. I have to change my methods for doing this I think. It's too bright now for the settings I've gotten used to. The panels flared last night and it must have been about magnitude -6 or something like that. I've usually done 1/500 second exposures, but I'll have to try 1/1000 now I think.

Just weather issues as usual...

spaceman1953
Member

Posts: 942
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 05-12-2009 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, me and Detroit get the same view time! Who'da thunk?

Naked eye viewing, it seemed to have a void between two bright light parts! But I just cannot truly believe that is what I was seeing!

(I had to pull over and wave, since I did not make it back to the farm in time after work.)

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 30146
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-30-2009 07:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
Space Station Appearing Nationwide Over July 4 Weekend

As America celebrates its 233rd birthday this holiday weekend, there will be an extra light in the sky along with the fireworks. Across the country, Americans will be treated to spectacular views of the International Space Station as it orbits 220 miles above Earth.

Many locations will have unusually long sighting opportunities of as much as five minutes, weather permitting, as the station flies almost directly overhead.

To find out when to see the station from your city, visit: Sightings Opportunities

The largest spacecraft ever built, the station also is the most reflective. It will be brighter than most stars at dawn and dusk, appearing as a solid, glowing light, slowly traversing the predawn or evening sky. It is visible when lit by the sun while the ground below is not in full daylight. It moves across the sky too fast for conventional telescopes, but a good set of binoculars can enhance the viewing experience, even revealing some detail of the station's structure.

The station circles Earth every 90 minutes. It is 357 feet long, about the length of a football field including the end zones, and 45 feet tall. Its reflective solar arrays are 240 feet wide, a wingspan greater than that of a jumbo jet, and have a total surface area of more than 38,000 square feet.

An international crew of six astronauts, including American flight engineer Michael Barratt, is aboard the complex conducting research and continuing its assembly. Other crew members are from Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan.

blue_eyes
Member

Posts: 162
From: North Carolina, USA
Registered: Jul 2005

posted 07-26-2009 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for blue_eyes   Click Here to Email blue_eyes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Holy cow! What a night. Just saw the ISS and Endeavour pass overhead in central North Carolina, in spite of the zillion-percent-humidity-hazy sky! It was amazing... the complex was SO BRIGHT for such a long pass, and without question the brightest most beautiful thing in the whole sky... and what an unbelievable feeling knowing that 13 astronauts and cosmonauts were busy on board! Utterly MAGNIFICENT.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 09-14-2009 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is my latest from Saturday night.

jimsz
Member

Posts: 539
From:
Registered: Aug 2006

posted 09-14-2009 08:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by tegwilym:
Here is my latest from Saturday night.
What size scope are you using and what are you using for taking photos? I'd like to try with my 6" 125-etx.

gliderpilotuk
Member

Posts: 3208
From: London, UK
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 09-15-2009 02:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great photos Tom, as ever.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 09-15-2009 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
What size scope are you using and what are you using for taking photos? I'd like to try with my 6" 125-etx.
I use a 12" Meade LX200 for those, but have also used an 8" LX90. Your ETX125 should give a fairly good image since its such a bright thing. I use a Vesta Pro webcam on the scope to take the images as a video as I point the scope by hand.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see my procedures that I use.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 09-15-2009 09:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What magnification do you use?

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 09-16-2009 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
What magnification do you use?
I'm not sure about the math on this, never figured it out. I use a Vesta Pro webcam which has a chip that is 640x480 resolution and the chip itself is probably about 1/4 inch square. I just put it directly on the back of the scope (no other lenses). The focal length of the 12" LX200 is 3048mm with a focal ratio of f/10.

I think it was around 200-ish times magnification or somewhere in that range. I could put a 2x (or more) barlow on that, but never tried that since I would have a lot less field of view to play with and would have to be much more accurate on my aiming - and that's pretty hard by hand.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 09-16-2009 04:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks - so you're using prime focus rather than eyepiece projection. I should have asked the question that way! Great results - I will have to give it a try someday. I have a 10" Dobsonian that doesn't move smoothly enough for me to track a rapidly-moving object well.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 09-17-2009 02:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ilbasso:
Thanks - so you're using prime focus rather than eyepiece projection. well.
Right! Simply attached at the prime focus to describe it simply. I think a Dob would work very well for this. I use a Telrad finder to follow the station across the sky, and by no means am I centered at all times. It's kind of hard to keep it in the middle of the finder all the time, and out of maybe 1700 frames, I may get it in 30 frames, and then maybe only 10 are really good, without blurring. I've been reading a book about building Dobs, since I came across an old 10-inch Newtonian that was donated to our club. I'd like to use the mirror and build a truss Dob out of it. I read that you can make the scope move smoother if you put a little bit of car wax on the sliding parts to make it less sticky.

moorouge
Member

Posts: 1795
From: U.K.
Registered: Jul 2009

posted 10-24-2009 09:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for moorouge   Click Here to Email moorouge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was wondering if the ISS would be visible to the naked eye from the surface of the Moon? It is so bright in Earth orbit.

ilbasso
Member

Posts: 1501
From: Greensboro, NC USA
Registered: Feb 2006

posted 10-26-2009 11:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think it would be highly unlikely you'd be able to see it from the Moon. If ISS were coming around the edge of the Earth as seen from the Moon, it would only be about 2-1/2 minutes of an arc (1/20th of a degree) above the limb of the Earth, pretty close to the smallest angle someone with normal vision could discern. The brightness of even a partially-illuminated Earth would be thousands of times brighter than the ISS. Your eyes couldn't adjust to seeing something as dim as the ISS with the bright Earth so close by.

The angle of the sun and ISS relative to you would have to be just right, too, for the reflections from the solar arrays to bounce the light back to you on the Moon.

spaceman1953
Member

Posts: 942
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 03-03-2010 09:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaceman1953   Click Here to Email spaceman1953     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
We've been clear here for several nights now so the 8:02 p.m. three minute flyover (even though low on the horizon) should be perfect!

Friday and Saturday I get two more shots at it and will use a new monocular a friend gave me to see if I can see any detail!

(Thank to our host for getting this connected to the right place...)

MarylandSpace
Member

Posts: 1056
From:
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 03-03-2010 11:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Gene, Thank you for the heads up. Tomorrow (Thursday) we will get a very bright (-3.4) early evening opportunity. Even though I have seen ISS several hundred times, the next time is always exciting.

tegwilym
Member

Posts: 2298
From: Crest Airpark (S36) Kent, WA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted 03-04-2010 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tegwilym   Click Here to Email tegwilym     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, actually have a forecast for clearing skies tomorrow. I'll give it a try with the scope again and see if I can get it. I have a new webcam now that should do well, so I need to test it out on the ISS.

I'm working on a new website for my images. Trying out a free trial of Zenfolio, I like it so far and think I'll pay for the service.


This topic is 3 pages long:   1  2  3 

All times are CT (US)

next newest topic | next oldest topic

Administrative Options: Close Topic | Archive/Move | Delete Topic
Post New Topic  Post A Reply
Hop to:

Contact Us | The Source for Space History & Artifacts

Copyright 1999-2014 collectSPACE.com All rights reserved.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.47a





advertisement