See the Space Station

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Well-Known Member
Jan 17, 2009
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over the next several days there are some pretty good chances to see the ISS as it orbits overhead, there are both early morning and evening opportunities for large portions of the US. check out or for viewing opportunities.

From past times that I've seen the Shuttle / ISS they move pretty quickly across the sky.
Came up with an empty box on my linux system... then I remembered I didn't bother installing Java.

I've always used the Heavens Above site. Seen plenty of orbiting objects with it. Also seen plenty of objects on ground that are now orbiting :)
If the thick cloud cover over New York State ever gets out of here, I might try to catch a look.

I saw it pass overhead a couple of years ago. Just by chance, I happened to check the Heavens Above website (which I do from time to time when we have clear skies) and saw that the ISS was going to be visible from my location in about a half hour. It was a direct overhead pass, and man, it was big and bright! (It's even bigger now.) It took something like 2.5-3 minutes (if I recall correctly) to go from horizon to horizon; I had time during the pass to run into the house and call my wife to the door so that she could see it, too. I tried looking at it with a pair of (non-astronomical) binoculars, but it was moving too fast for me to keep it in my FOV long enough to see any detail. It was so bright, though, that any details might well have been washed out in the glare anyway. The ISS is quite a sight if you see it, especially if it passes directly overhead or close to it. It is so big that if you didn't know what it was, you would think it was some sort of aircraft traveling up in the lower stratosphere.

I have Starry Night on my computer, and it indicates satellite passes (more than what are listed at Heavens Above). Almost every night, there are several visible satellite passes, if you just know where and when to look and you have clear and moderately dark skies and low horizons. Many of them are Russian communications or weather satellites, and they are visible if they pass overhead within a couple of hours after sunset or a couple of hours before sunrise.

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Iridium flares are worth a look too. For best effect, seek one between about mag. -8 and -5