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oscarzulu 02-19-2007 02:48 PM

Stargazers
 
I found this web site, www.heavens-above.com, while looking for International Space Station pass predictions.
There are predictions for Iridium Flares, which is where the angle of the solar arrays are perfect enough to reflect the sun up to -9 magnitude, 40 times brighter than Venus.
Saw my first last night and it was pretty cool, plus there are a lot of other predictions for other satellites.
Oz

sailingdog 02-19-2007 03:04 PM

Cool site. :D thanks for the link Oz.

SailinJay 02-19-2007 06:03 PM

Back in December 2006 during the last shuttle mission to do some work on the space station, based on information provided by one of the DC TV stations, I went to this web site and got the predicted path for that evening for the space station. I got on the roof of my porch and noted an object coming from the southwest, as predicted. With no blinking lights, I isolated it from other aircraft in the sky. It was very bright and visible for about three minutes. When I looked at it through binoculars, it appeared to be two small spheres. After watching it disappear to the northeast, I came in to tell my wife about it. She had been watching the news and they reported that the shuttle had just separated from the space station. So what I saw was both of them still orbiting in close proximity---an extraordinary siting.

Valiente 02-20-2007 12:38 AM

I've seen the ISS multiple times and a few comets and assorted satellites. It's strange how my love of astronomy from when I was 10 (and had a south-facing window) basically went to sleep for 30 years until I picked up a sextant and went "huh...I bet this would be useful sailing..."

Thanks for the link. I used Google Earth to refine my house lat/lon. so I could see Iridium flashes out the back window.


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