[amsat-bb] Re: visual sighting of ISS

Gordon JC Pearce MM3YEQ gordonjcp at gjcp.net
Wed Nov 26 01:39:52 PST 2008

Curt Nixon wrote:
> As Jim says, the light in your area will greatly effect how you see 
> ISS.  I have seen it perhaps 50 times over the last couple of years.  I 
> live in a very high light suburban area.  When it comes over on a clear 
> nite, however, anything above about 45 degrees, it will appear as the 
> brightest thing in the sky.  It looks like a very intense landing lite 
> on an airliner--once it gets over 45 degrees.

Bah.  This far north it never gets above 35 degrees.  I've still seen it 
though, and on a good clear night with the sun just below the horizon 
it's easily mag -1 ;-)

> The times to see it best are in the predawn and just after sunset.  If 
> you use one of the general sat tracking programs like Orbitron, Nova, or 
> similar, watch for passes where it is dark for you on the ground--you 
> are on the dark side of the terminator, and the ISS is still 
> illuminated.  This will be on passes where it goes over you within 1/2 
> hour or so of sunrise or sunset, generally.
> One of the neatest things I've ever seen in the sky was the 90 degree 
> elevation pass of ISS and the Shuttle in tandem.
> Good luck and have fun.

Now that would be something to see.


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