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Keep watching the skies...

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Offline RichardM

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Keep watching the skies...
« on: February 28, 2007, 04:35:32 PM »
For those who are going to be in the Bend this Friday night, be sure and look up at around 7:50PM.  The International Space Station should be visible going overhead for a few minutes.  I wonder how well it'll show up in a five minute exposure, for those with good cameras.

ISS Pass Details (for Chisos Basin).
(old image link expired)

For the rest of you, check out the links here for some viewing opps at various locations of import.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 02:29:56 PM by RichardM »

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Offline astrofizz

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« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2007, 05:09:27 PM »
Owing to its large size and relatively low Earth orbit, the ISS is usually a bright object.  Its angular velocity across the sky (degrees per second) is not too fast, so it should be an easy target for any decent camera (digital or film that isn't too slow) that can take exposures of, eg, 30 seconds or more. You would need a wide-field capability to keep the ISS in the field-of-view for 5 minutes. This ISS is visible for 6m19s, and the ISS will cover approx 150 degrees of sky.

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Offline presidio

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2007, 05:21:03 PM »
Quote from: "astrofizz"
Owing to its large size and relatively low Earth orbit, the ISS is usually a bright object.  Its angular velocity across the sky (degrees per second) is not too fast, so it should be an easy target for any decent camera (digital or film that isn't too slow) that can take exposures of, eg, 30 seconds or more. You would need a wide-field capability to keep the ISS in the field-of-view for 5 minutes. This ISS is visible for 6m19s, and the ISS will cover approx 150 degrees of sky.


Isn't it simply amazing? For any topic here, there are real experts who can provide whatever information is needed. Just pick a theme and see if that isn't true.
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--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline homerboy2u

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2007, 05:48:46 PM »
I was going to say that Presidio , but you stole the act. Yes indeed.

   Even if i try really hard to find that object, with map charts, computer graphics, or what ever type of gadget out there in the market , I know i would be dead in the water with out a good guy with knowledge to guide me thru. I better stay here and wait for a good picture to enjoy it.
Stay thirsty, my friends.

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BigBendHiker

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2007, 05:50:23 PM »
Quote from: "presidio"
Quote from: "astrofizz"
Owing to its large size and relatively low Earth orbit, the ISS is usually a bright object.  Its angular velocity across the sky (degrees per second) is not too fast, so it should be an easy target for any decent camera (digital or film that isn't too slow) that can take exposures of, eg, 30 seconds or more. You would need a wide-field capability to keep the ISS in the field-of-view for 5 minutes. This ISS is visible for 6m19s, and the ISS will cover approx 150 degrees of sky.


Isn't it simply amazing? For any topic here, there are real experts who can provide whatever information is needed. Just pick a theme and see if that isn't true.


So true!  That is one of the things that makes the board quite special.  


BBH

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Offline The Scorpion

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2007, 12:32:15 AM »
I hope I get the correct.

when looking for the ISS allow several minutes before and after the posted time to make sure you dont miss it.

it also helps if your eyes are dark adapted (30 minutes to 45 minutes with out exposure to bright and or white light.

based on the star chart richard posted you would be looking at the star chart as is facing south. the direction that is on the bottom of the chart is the direction you face. so if you were to turn it to put WEST at the bottom you would turn and face west then the stars on the chart should match the stars in the sky.

the center of the chart is the area of sky directly over your head called the zenith.

so if you want to find the ISS using the chart richard posted you would turn it so North is on the bottom. when you look up in the sky you should be able to see the constellations in this same arrangement in the sky (roughly). The big dipper to your right (north east).

just stand and wait and you will see what appears to be a star moving across the sky. it will be the ISS, then you can just enjoy watching it move across the sky. it will be about the same brightness as most of the stars out that night, but it wont be the brightes.

beleive it or not some people actually photo or take video if the ISS in orbit as it passes over head.

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline Daryl

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Re: Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2007, 06:28:50 AM »
Quote from: "RichardM"
Keep watching the skies...

I'd love to see that "Thing".  But, please leave the electric blankets at home, or at least unplugged.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0044121/usercomments
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Offline Daryl

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2007, 08:06:40 PM »
Wow :!:  Thanks for the heads up Richard.  :D

I just came back in from seeing the ISS.  It went RIGHT over our house then headed straight for the Chisos.

I've seen lots of satelites before, but never anything so bright and fast.  My wife and I waved, but we couldn't see if they waved back.

As a bonus, there was a really bright ring around the full moon.

Question:  As fast as that thing orbits, why is it so uncommon to see?  Seems like it must make several orbits each night.
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Offline RichardM

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2007, 08:46:42 PM »
Quote from: Daryl
Question: &nbsp;As fast as that thing orbits, why is it so uncommon to see? &nbsp;Seems like it must make several orbits each night.
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_space_station for details like these:
Orbital period: 91.61 minutes
Orbits per day: 15.72
Average speed: 27,685.7 km/h (17,165.1 mi/h)

You'd think this info would be easily found at the official source, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html, but I gave up searching there and hit good ol' Wikipedia instead. :icon_rolleyes:

The station and shuttle (when it's up) are only visible on orbit when the sun's light reflect off of them enough for us to see. That means they have to be fairly close to either sunrise or sunset. As a bonus, you can often see them change color to red just before disappearing behind the Earth's shadow.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 02:38:43 PM by RichardM »

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Offline Daryl

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2007, 08:58:09 PM »
Quote from: "RichardM"
Quote from: "Daryl"
Question:  As fast as that thing orbits, why is it so uncommon to see?  Seems like it must make several orbits each night.

The station and shuttle (when it's up) are only visible on orbit when the sun's light reflect off of them enough for us to see.  That means they have to be fairly close to either sunrise or sunset.  As a bonus, you can often see them change color to red just before disappearing behind the Earth's shadow.

Thanks for the answer.  Makes perfect sense now.  I didn't see a color change this time.  It just slowly faded out well above the horizon.
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Offline Boojum1

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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2007, 12:08:13 AM »
There will be a nice lunar eclipse right about sundown on Saturday.  Oh, to be out west.....

edit to add:  more information and links are posted on mcdonald observatory thread.
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SHANEA

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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2007, 12:52:53 PM »
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA073007.06R.skywatch.2916ee7.html

Greetings, Greetings, Greetings Fellow Star Gazers...Keep Lookin Up!

Quote
Skywatch: Our man-made wonders may have to do for now

Web Posted: 07/29/2007 07:48 PM CDT

Becky Ramotowski
Special to the Express-News

Waterlogged skies have thwarted our attempts to find stellar targets lately.

However, for a few days later this week we have a trick up our sleeve that just might derail the sky's plan to conceal its treasures.

Our proverbial ace in the hole is an abundance of international space station passes. There's bound to be a day the sky opens and we can peek at a nice ISS pass flying overhead during the latter part of the week.

Our first chance to bag our booty is Wednesday around 6:19 a.m. The station will appear in the northwest as a stellar dot moving toward the east-northeast. At 6:21 a.m. it will be gliding through the large M-shaped constellation of Cassiopeia. One minute later the station will scoot by Mars.

Mars shines like a ruddy star near the Pleiades open star cluster. If it's not too cloudy, the fuzzy glow of the Pleiades should be visible with the naked eye.

Finally, the pass will fade from view in the southeast at 6:25 a.m.

Another prime-time chance arrives later Wednesday at 9:05 p.m. Gaze toward the south for the ISS as a moving speck of light. This pass is low and takes the station through the stinger of Scorpius at 9:07 p.m.

Find a high spot that's free of trees or buildings to increase your chances of seeing the pass.

The station will continue its trek through the teapot of Sagittarius and vanish from sight at 9:10 p.m. in the northeast.

The ISS will make another pass Wednesday evening at 10:41 p.m. beginning in the west. This one is extremely low and will be difficult even if the sky is clear. The pass will end at 10:44 p.m. in the northwest.

Thursday brings a low early morning pass at 5:08 a.m. Watch toward the north about midway between the North Star and the horizon. This will be another tough one to pick out of the thick layers of atmosphere but not impossible.

The station will continue its path toward a disappearance in the east near Orion at 5:12 a.m.

Thursday evening brings a much better opportunity for a sighting at 9:28 p.m. Face southwest and watch for a bright moving point of light. The ISS will fly past Spica and then Arcturus. By 9:31 p.m. it will be easier to find since it will brighten considerably as it climbs higher in the night sky.

Friday morning early birds can watch the station pass at 5:30 a.m. Start searching in the northwest for it as a bright speck left of the North Star. It will continue through Cassiopeia just as it did Wednesday morning and then glide past Mars around 5:32 a.m.

This morning show will end at 5:35 a.m. in the southeast.

Friday evening's pass is another difficult sight, but intrepid watchers should be on the alert at 9:51 p.m. This one begins in the west low in the tail of Leo. It fades from view in the northern sky at 9:55 p.m.

Occasionally, orbital boosts cause the ISS to appear later than the times posted. Heavens-above.com has updated times posted for locations around the world.

E-mail Becky Ramotowski at skywatch@beckster.cotse.net. Skywatch appears Mondays.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Our man-made wonders may have to do for now
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2007, 01:21:59 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
Quote from: "[url
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA073007.06R.skywatch.2916ee7.html[/url]"]Our proverbial ace in the hole is an abundance of international space station passes. There's bound to be a day the sky opens and we can peek at a nice ISS pass flying overhead during the latter part of the week.

Lots of good viewing opps coming up.  Wish I could slip away to Big Bend, since the chances of the skies clearing up around here are pretty slim.

ISS Passes for Chisos Basin

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Offline Roy

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Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2007, 11:22:52 AM »
Don't know if this has been  posted here before.
Sign up for "Sky Tips" and the 1st of every month, McDonald Observatory will Email you a list viewing events.
http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/visitors/

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Keep watching the skies...
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2009, 02:36:53 PM »
Depending on your location and weather, there should be some good space station and shuttle viewing opps the next few days. The shuttle undocked this morning and is scheduled to land Friday morning. Check the Heavens-Above (star charts, satellites, etc) topic for links to ISS viewing opps from various locations of interest. To view space shuttle opps for any of those ISS links, change the "satid" variable value from 25544 to 36094 like below:

ISS: http://www.heavens-above.com/PassSummary.asp?lat=29.2675&lng=-103.3&alt=0&loc=Chisos%20Basin&TZ=CST&satid=25544

Shuttle: http://www.heavens-above.com/PassSummary.asp?lat=29.2675&lng=-103.3&alt=0&loc=Chisos%20Basin&TZ=CST&satid=36094

 


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