ISS To Fly Over Early This Evening

| April 29, 2010 @ 8:39 am | 132 Replies

International Space StationThe International Space Station makes a pass over Birmingham early this evening, and a combination of factors suggest we’ll have a great chance to see this marvel of technology.

The ISS is scheduled to approach from the west-southwest and, at its maximum elevation, will be very high in the sky, at 84 degrees elevation (90 degrees is directly overhead). The station should be very bright, making it easy to see with the naked eye. With the sky expected to be mostly clear, all of the ingredients are coming together for an easy chance to view it.

The passover starts at 8:09:36pm and concludes less than 3 minutes later at 8:12:03pm, so don’t be late, because the ISS won’t wait around for you. The ISS travels at an average speed of 17,227 miles per hour. To give you an idea of how fast that is, this is almost the same speed at which James and JB can down a plate of ribs at their favorite barbecue joint!

A lot of folks don’t realize that you can see the ISS without any special equipment. I’ve seen it from in my Shelby Co. neighborhood with streetlights around, but if you’re able to get away from light pollution, your view is likely to be even more enjoyable.

Some folks have even caught the ISS on camera. If you want to see a great shot of the ISS docked with the Shuttle Discovery taken on 4/8/10 from the ground by California resident Ted Judah, click here. Ted took this shot using a Canon 30D digital camera connected to his Celestron telescope.

I have to confess some frustration here. I have a nice digital camera and a telescope with camera mount capability, but am clueless as to whether I need any other equipment or how to even connect it. If anyone can point me to some resources on how to do this, I’d be appreciative.

Happy viewing!

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