Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Internation Space Station

Just had a wonderful 80 degree pass of the ISS. It came up out of the Northwest, and set in the Southeast. Brighter than Venus, which is the bright "star" by the Moon, and always fun to see go over.
If you're interested in how you can see it yourself, AMSAT has a very nice Web application where you can enter your Longitude and Latitude, and get real-time pass prediction. Keep in mind it's only visible when in the sun, you passes that occur around dusk are just beautiful to watch.
Real Time Pass Predictions by AMSAT.
Use the drop-down box ("Show predictions for") to select the ISS (it defaults to AO-51) and enjoy!
And if you're curious about the history of Amateur Radio Satellites, there's an excellent story to be read over at Space Today Online.


  1. The Better Half and I watched the same pass tonight in Wickenburg, AZ. We also saw last night's pass and are looking forward to tomorrow's pass.

    Beautiful - at the same time the ISS was transiting, we heard the train whistle blowing at the downtown crossing. The old and the new all at once.

  2. Yeah, that's pretty neat!
    The first time I came out to Kalifornia, I got in pretty late and hit the hay immediately. The next morning, "How The West Was Won" was on TV, and as the characters were talking about how it took three MONTHS to get from St. Louis to San Francisco, it occurred to me that I had just come from Chicago to Los Angeles in three HOURS.
    Time marches on.....

  3. We just witnessed yet another pass of the ISS over Wickenburg. It stayed within sight from when we spotted it 30&ndeg; above the twilight horizon until she passed behind some clouds SSE very low in the opposite horizon. A very nice pass again.

  4. Sweet!
    Way too cloudy here tonight. There's some huge thunderheads out towards the desert, and they've been coming this way since around 5pm or so.

  5. Yep, it's impressive :-) Thanks for the link!

  6. I had to Google for our Lat/Long and then convert elevation in feet to meters - and I still don't know what any of the azimuth elevation numbers mean or where to look. :-) But I'm glad someone does!

  7. It first appears (rises over the horizon) at "AOS", which is "Acquisition Of Signal", and then disappears (sets below the horizon) at "LOS", which is "Loss Of Signal". If AOS is at 270*, and LOS is at 135*, it would "rise" due West, and "set" to the Southeast. The elevation is how high it would get in the sky as it passes from your AOS to LOS. The numbers are just compass headings; 0/360 is North, 90 is East, 180 is South, and 270 is West.

  8. Thanks! I know which way north is, straight down Sterlin Road. :-)

  9. No problem. I've been doing stuff with all kinds of satellites for so long, I sometimes forget a lot of people don't understand what "Azimuth" and "Elevation" mean!


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