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Started by quartus on May 16, 2018 10:43:16 PM
ISS - International Space Station, observation alerts

https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Once seen, never forgotten!

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phantlers - 16 May 2018 23:10:28 (#1 of 33)

There have been some spectacular passes this week, but at around 4am. There are 3 passes tonight.



http://iss.astroviewer.net/observation.php

quartus - 16 May 2018 23:43:51 (#2 of 33)

When I saw the ISS a couple of nights ago, I was amazed to discover later that, though it's only about 100 metres wide, it orbits over 200 miles above the planet's surface.

Got me wondering how something so small - and so far away - could be so bright.

ZimAgain - 16 May 2018 23:54:46 (#3 of 33)

It's not that far away, about 1/40th of the Earth's diameter, and reflected sunlight makes it about as bright as Venus, apparently.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Space_
Station#Sightings_from_Earth

quartus - 17 May 2018 00:07:28 (#4 of 33)

Not that far away? The Earth's diameter (at the equator) is approx 7926 miles. Divide that by 40 and you get approx 200 miles.

Sabacious - 17 May 2018 00:09:50 (#5 of 33)

It’s really close get a glove and measure out 200 miles, eg London to Leeds, then see how far above the surface of the glove that is. It’s practically touching!

quartus - 17 May 2018 00:12:20 (#6 of 33)

Now picture a 100m running track, and envisage how it would look from 200 miles away.

Relative, innit.

ZimAgain - 17 May 2018 00:15:22 (#7 of 33)

Against a very dark background, yes. The ISS doesn't glow in the dark, so it's just as bright as it ought to be.

Sunfish - 17 May 2018 00:16:28 (#8 of 33)

Great link, thanks Quartus. Will look out for a date to see it with the children... :-)

quartus - 17 May 2018 00:17:59 (#9 of 33)

OK, ZimAgain, for 'bright', read 'reflective'.

quartus - 17 May 2018 00:20:08 (#10 of 33)

and Sunfish - kids today are probably in their element at that time of night, no?

thinking of internet-induced sleep deprivation norms, that is

ZimAgain - 17 May 2018 00:24:11 (#11 of 33)

Fair enough, Quartus. (The bright stuff?) :-)

quartus - 17 May 2018 00:25:54 (#12 of 33)

Ask a Venusian!

gotta glow ...

johnnythesailor - 17 May 2018 07:41:06 (#13 of 33)

I've got a sister that lives more than 200 miles away so it doesn't feel very far.

Tenesmus - 17 May 2018 07:45:28 (#14 of 33)

Commercial jets cruise sbout 6.5 miles up. How about that, hmm?

solomongursky - 17 May 2018 07:52:55 (#15 of 33)

Sunday looks good in Norwich:

Sun May 20, 10:09 PM visible for 4 min 11 degrees above S

Tenesmus - 17 May 2018 07:57:33 (#16 of 33)

I've an app on my phone that tells you what the stars etc are you're pointing it at, and includes the ISS.

machiavelli - 17 May 2018 07:59:02 (#17 of 33)

If any of you are radio hams, you can chat to them on 145.8mhz.

quartus - 17 May 2018 08:12:11 (#18 of 33)

11 degrees is pretty low on the horizon. And is it quite dark at 10.09pm?

johnnythesailor - 17 May 2018 09:47:59 (#19 of 33)

Dawn and dusk are the best times to spot it - it's high enough to still be in the sun while it has set on the ground. It's the same reason that Venus is called the morning/evening star.

quartus - 17 May 2018 11:07:18 (#20 of 33)

don't think that's always the case, johnny. For instance tonight, over London, it'll be overhead (90°) just after 3.00 in the morning: http://iss.astroviewer.net/observation.php?lon=-0.12775829999998223&lat=51.5073509&name=Lo
ndon

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