Tuesday, March 25, 2008

See the ISS & Space Shuttle on Wednesday night

These can be seen with the naked eye. It's very cool to spot them. You can do this--it's not hard.

NASA explains here:
Depending on your location on the Earth's surface, the spacecraft's position in orbit and the time of day, you may be able to see either the space shuttle or the International Space Station, or both, as they orbit about 386 kilometers (240 miles) above the planet. A spacecraft will be seen as a steady white pinpoint of light moving slowly across the sky.

For each shuttle flight, the Flight Dynamics Officers in NASA's Mission Control Center use sophisticated computer software to predict when and where the shuttle will be visible to people on the ground. Now that station assembly has begun, they also will predict where the space station will be visible from the ground. For rendezvous and docking missions, both will be visible at the same time once the two vehicles have docked in orbit and only one listing will be necessary.

You can go to this page to pick your state and then your city to get your times for sighting. Remember! 90 degrees is directly overhead.

For Durham (more sighting dates and times at the link):

Satellite . . Local Time . . Duration . . Deg Elev . . Approach

ISS . . . . Wed 3/26 8:24pm . . 5 minutes . . . 68º. . 11º above SW
Shuttle . . Wed 3/26 8:26pm . .5 minutes . . . 72º . .11º above SW

You can also spot the newly launched Jules Verne ATV satellite too:

ATV . . Wed 3/26 8:20pm . . 5 minutes . . . . 59º . . 11º above SW

ISS: International Space Station


Tycho Brahe said...

You can see it even from downtown! I saw the ISS flyover from the parking lot across from the RIP Joe & Jo's. And no, I was on the way in, not out, thank you very much. Wednesday looks like it will be clear, so it should be a good chance to see it.

drcforbin said...

Thanks for posting this, I was really happy to see it. I was a little disappointed only to see the ISS, though (it looks like the shuttle landed instead).

Durham Bull Pen said...

We definitely saw 2 objects at the times and trajectories listed. The 2nd one was very bright and seemed closer than the other one we saw.

Not sure why NASA has the Shuttle times up if it's landed already--weird. I guess it landed tonight at 8:39 pm.