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Spot the Space Station

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the late-night-entertainment dept.

Space 18

Hangin10 writes "According to Space.com, it's now the best time to see the space station orbit our globe. Wouldn't hurt to look! :)"

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It is 6PM here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085216)

And there is a thick cloud cover. NOW is NOT a good time HERE.

Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085232)

It's noon here. It's too sunny to see much up there.

Shouldn't be hard to spot.. (4, Funny)

LouCifer (771618) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085364)

..it'll be the object engulfed in flames as it re-enters the atmosphere.

Semi-related - other stuff in the sky (4, Informative)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085422)

I realize not related to the space station, but still looking up in the sky at night, the most obvious thing is the moon ... and we just had a lunar eclipse, although it was not visible to folks in America. For anyone interested, I shot a few nifty pictures of the November 8th, 2003 lunar eclipse [komar.org] and I even have some cool Aurora Boealis pictures [komar.org] from 10 days earlier when it got as far down South as Colorado.

Another cool thing is Iridium Flares which are bright flashes of reflected sunlight from the Iridium satellite solar panels for 5-20 seconds - here is an excellent writeup about those including how to predict 'em! [satobs.org]

This isn't a very busy topic, so...NINNLE TIME! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9085587)

How many people here know that the space station computers all run under Ninnle Linux?

Re:This isn't a very busy topic, so...NINNLE TIME! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9086929)

...and this got modded Offtopic why?

The best time to view the space station... (3, Funny)

Syncdata (596941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9085827)

...is when you're trying to take a long exposure of the night sky. Sure enough, there's that tell-tale streak.

City dwellers don't see the ISS often, but go out to a good dark spot suitable for really examining heavenly objects, and you will realize just how many sattelites/orbiting objects are really up there, and how obvious they are.

I must admit, it was novel the first couple of times. At this point however, I'm beginning to advocate bases on the moon.

Re:The best time to view the space station... (1)

nadda (613664) | more than 10 years ago | (#9089536)

City dwellers don't see the ISS often,...

I've not had too much problem viewing the ISS. Trick is knowing where and when to look. Some of the fainter satellites can't be seen though. I guess it all matters on your definition of 'city'.

More than just now. (5, Informative)

gmiller123456 (240000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9086138)

The space station is visible many times throughout the year. This website gives very accurate times for spotting it, and many, many other satellites.

Station Location + Celestia (4, Informative)

brownpau (639342) | more than 10 years ago | (#9086632)

Current ISS position, updated every minute. [nasa.gov]

Yesterday in the office: I had my iBook beside me, running Celestia [shatters.net] . Try this: Current time, realtime, Select ISS, Go to ISS, Sync Orbit. Maneuver a bit around the station till you're where the Destiny module window is, then adjust the viewpoint so you get a nice horizon view. (Or just Track Sol.) Then just leave it running. Voila: anytime you feel like seeing what the ISS crew can see from Destiny, just look at Celestia. :)

(Interestingly enough, comparing the Celestia ISS view with the Station Location website, I found that Celestia's synchronization is a teeny bit off, but not by much. Nice work!)

Watch really really close, and... (4, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9086879)

If you watch the ISS pass overhead, or any other satellite, imagine that you have no idea what it is. Look for signs of unusual movements... see how it wiggles around in its path? You can really tell if you're in a moving vehicle -- it chases after you, and then suddenly it's gone!


When we went to White Sands, New Mexico [nps.gov] , they had a guide show off the excellent view of the stars. He explained some basic astronomy, talked about relative distances and such, and then someone said, "what's that?"

It was a satellite, of course, and he played the trick above on the folks who hadn't watched one go across the sky before. He really had some of them going, too... I heard a few "hmmm!"s from the group as he described the light's perceived non-linear motion.

It gave him a great chance to explain why satellites get reported as UFOs, complete with unusual movements and sudden disappearances. The satellite is moving in a nearly perfect curve across the sky, but your head isn't a very steady viewing platform. And when a light in the sky (distance = way far) gets close to a tree or something (distance = well known), your brain perceives the motion as changing.

Hopefully, he gave the eastbound tourists something to think about on their way to Roswell [iufomrc.org] .

Wouldn't hurt to look! :) (0, Offtopic)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 10 years ago | (#9087064)

>Wouldn't hurt to look! :)

Unless spotting it includes staring at the sun X-)

Yeah, right... a "space station" phhhhtt (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9087798)

hahahah April fools again, eh? Slashdot?
I watch TV too and yes, on Enterprise I see a imaginary world where manmade "ships" are traversing space and are in orbit around the earth.

However, I know that TV is fictional.

Hello? Earth to editors: There are no "Space Stations" And even if there were, how would it "orbit" around the earth, which is, as we all know a flat plate balanced on the back of a tortise. The damn turtle would eat it!
I don't know how this one slipped by the usually brilliant slashdot editors. I think this one also fooled other worthy news sources such as Fox, MSNBC, and The Onion.


Chance of a lifetime (4, Funny)

JayBees (124568) | more than 10 years ago | (#9087869)

Most importantly folks, this is a fantastic opportunity to go outside and yell "That's no moon! It's a space station!" at people who pass you on the street.

Good time in the US (3, Informative)

MrIrwin (761231) | more than 10 years ago | (#9089366)

This ESA [heavens-above.com] page will give a personal timetable for ISS spotting.

ISS sun and moon crossings (2, Informative)

OneOver137 (674481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9089384)

Go here [sourceforge.net] to see when the ISS will cross in front of the moon or sun (use proper filtering on the sun!). Some results [sourceforge.net] showing considerable detail.

That's not a moon... (2, Funny)

Abraxis (180472) | more than 10 years ago | (#9089787)

It's a space station!

Space Station!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9091553)

That's not a space station, it's a m...

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