Friday, August 12, 2011

Seeing the ISS!

Normally when you hear a ham talking about the ISS they want to talk to it, or hear it send out packets, and SSTV. And until today I was right along with them, I wanted to work the ISS, get the SSTV, get into the packet and hopefully find a pass that had someone on voice for the pass.

BUT. I must say it was really cool to SEE the ISS moving overhead. And I look forward to seeing it again.
I mean really, You can SEE it from the ground with the naked eye. On this pass it was a big bright light moving very fast across the sky.

In the video I just uploaded you can hear me question myself if I really saw it. I just wasn't sure, not seeing it before I wasn't sure if I was really looking at it or not, I was not excepting it to be as bright as it was. It was one of the brightest things in the sky tonight.

The other day (one day last week) I heard a Ham talking about seeing the ISS on one of the local repeaters, I just didn't understand why he was so happy to have seen it.... I think I understand now!

So what did I see (BTW My camera's battery was dead, I tried quickly to use my iPod to record a video - it didn't see it, it was bright to the eye, but too dim for the iPod to "see") Out of the South West I was looking...I didn't see anything at all, I looked away for a second. AND looked back, and there was a BIG Bright Light, I could tell it was high up, there was a small plane below it, relative to what I saw the plane was moving faster (However that isn't true) if
I saw it at the begin of the pass which I should have been able to do - It was over the Gulf of Mexico....a good thousand, 1500 miles away from me, The plane was much closer so it looked as if it was moving faster. At the end of the 4 minute pass the ISS would have been over Maine - so it was moving much faster then any plane could.

Do you love have the laws of relativity come into play here! But that is a different blog.

At it's highest point (44 degrees I am thinking it would have been over TN) and at the point where I would have lost sight of it, it would have been just on the edge of KY/WV

IT was very cool, I watched it the whole time, As it was moving "relative" toward me it was a bright white light, and at the point where I could just see it, it was a very dim light that was changing to a redish/orange color

There are a few places on the internet where you can find information for where and when to look. The best times I have been told are just at day break, and right after the sun has gone down. has some great listing on when and where you can see the ISS as well as other satellites

IF you are on twitter, follow @twisst it will tweet to you a few hours before a visible pass. It tries to figure out where you are located from you profile location.

If you can do it, I would go out and do it! it might not sound like much, but it really is something to see.

73 - KD8BXP

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