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April 22, 2011

Look! Up in the Sky!
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 08:18 PM * 24 comments

I hear the International Space Station viewing is excellent these days. All you have to know is where to look.

It’s large, it’s low, and in the hour after sunset and before dawn it’s the second-brightest thing in the sky (behind Venus).

The only trick is knowing where to look, and our friends at NASA have a Java applet for that. In the US, it reads out time, elevation, and bearing by ZIP code. Outside the US, they have some major cities listed, including Glasgow, Amsterdam, and Melbourne.

A bit more on How to See the Shuttle and Space Station From the Ground.

So that’s why I’m going to be on a hillside, looking northwest, from 9:21 to 9:26 tonight.

Comments on Look! Up in the Sky!:
#1 ::: P J Evans ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 08:41 PM:

Unfortunately, it's overcast (clouds, fog, or both) in Los Angeles.

#2 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 08:48 PM:

Pfft. "No sightings available" for Honolulu.

#3 ::: thomas ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 08:54 PM:

My best chance appears to have been about six hours ago, though there's a reasonable one in the unnaturally early morning on Monday.

#4 ::: j h woodyatt ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 08:56 PM:

Yeah... some of us live in San Francisco, where the sky is always the color of an opening scene in a William Gibson novel. Enjoy the view. I'm sure there's something wonderful up there on the other side of all that sky.

#5 ::: Suzanne ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 08:59 PM:

Aw man, missed it by less than an hour.

#6 ::: Lizzy L ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 09:16 PM:

Across the bay in San Pablo, CA, hoping for clear skies -- not gonna happen tonight, though.

#7 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 09:27 PM:

Overcast and rainy here in C-ville.

#8 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 09:28 PM:

And there it was.

#9 ::: Cynthia W. ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 09:32 PM:

Missed it by 10 minutes - well, except for the very thick cloud cover.

#10 ::: jnh ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 09:33 PM:

I went out and saw it on the 7:47 pm pass, and even though it was mag -3.3 according to HeavensAbove, I had a hard time finding it since the sky was still very bright here in Bryant Pond, ME (65 miles SE of Jim).I've seen it several times before, and have pointed it out to people I've been around. I saw it a few weeks ago without even planning for it, I was just outside in the dark at the right time.
And I just went out and saw it through the trees on the 9:24 pass (local time and location), lower to the horizon and looking distinctly reddish, so there is a red sunset to the west of me.

#11 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 09:51 PM:

It’s large, it’s low, and in the hour after sunset and before dawn it’s the second-brightest thing in the sky (behind Venus).

How did they get it behind Venus?

#12 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 09:56 PM:

Leverage, Terry, leverage.

#13 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2011, 11:48 PM:

I've spotted it often, oddly enough often on the drive at night home from going to Lawrence. on a clear night, it shows up quite clearly, and there's lots of Real Dark Sky between KC and Lawrence, KS.

While we are at home, viewing conditions suck, mostly because of all the large trees. KC has done some reduction of upwards=lighted street lighting and one can see some stars. But I live in the middle of an old urban forest (our house was built in 1912).

#14 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2011, 04:47 AM:

About half a year ago I was walking out of the apartment an hour or so after sunset, and I looked up, like you do, to find Jupiter, which at the time was high and bright in the evening sky. I noticed a star-like object that was only slightly dimmer than Jupiter, which was odd because there wasn't supposed to be a bright star. It was moving slowly southward, but not as fast as an airplane would and not blinking either. After a few seconds it dimmed and then went out. When I got a chance, I looked up on and discovered that indeed I had just happened to look up at just the right time to see an Iridium flare.

#15 ::: Mark ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2011, 11:28 AM:

Tonight at 8:15, 25deg west of north, 21deg elevation. Provided the rain clears out, of course. Which is not particularly likely.

#16 ::: Erik Nelson ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2011, 02:30 PM:

Linkmeister at #12
If they used leverage, where was their place to stand?

#17 ::: Bruce Cohen (Speaker to Managers) ::: (view all by) ::: April 23, 2011, 06:52 PM:

Erik Nelson @ 16:

Portland, OR, but it was tarted up to look like Boston.

#18 ::: [المزعج ذهب] ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2011, 11:12 AM:

[ أرسلت من]

#20 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2011, 02:28 PM:

yes, it was arabic

#21 ::: Bill Stewart ::: (view all by) ::: April 24, 2011, 10:10 PM:

RIPE says the IP address is from a mobile phone company in Kuwait. Google Translate says the sender is "Spam Gold".

#22 ::: David Harmon ::: (view all by) ::: April 25, 2011, 07:07 AM:

Bill #21: I assume tha "sender name" is after Abi zapped it. I've seen her replace Russian names with the Russian for "spam", so why not Arabic?

#23 ::: Sylvia ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2011, 04:53 PM:

Ooooh, they list Malaga. It's here on Saturday night! *bounces*

Thank you, I had no idea.

#24 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 26, 2011, 05:09 PM:

We saw it last night here in the Netherlands. It's shiny.

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