Monday, June 28, 2010

The International Space Station

The other day at lunch, our friend Judey turned us on to the
fact that the International Space Station (ISS) was going to be
very visible to us over the next few days. All we had to do was
go to the Space Weather Satellite Flybys page, enter our zip
code and it will show you what time the ISS will go over your
house. It works for other bright satellites and space objects
as well, but apparently there are some favorable sun angles
that will light up the ISS through Monday night. The solar
panels and the immense size of the station make it the largest
man-made item orbiting the earth and much easier to see than
a typical satellite. Although it is indeed in orbit, that orbit is
only 200 miles above the surface, making it closer to us than

When I walked outside at around 8:55, I was disappointed
because it was still pretty light. However, I looked due west
and I could see Venus, so I thought there might be a chance
since the ISS was supposed to be very bright. I waited a few
minutes, looked to the SSW and there it was! Like a very bright
satellite (we see those quite a bit just outside of town) moving
toward the NE. I ran into the house to tell Lynn and for a few
seconds, I couldn't find it....but there it was. Right above our
heads. It moved so fast we only saw it for about ten seconds.
It was great though seeing something so big, so far away,
moving so fast. I'm looking forward to seeing it again tonight!

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