Friday, September 2, 2011

Viewing Party

It will be passing overhead this evening and you can see it with your own eyes. Yes, another viewing opportunity for the International Space Station in the Midwest.

Grab the family (especially kids) and head
outside and take a look up in to the sky and see it pass overhead.


To see it, use the information for the various locations listed below and go outside. Look in the specific direction just above the horizon. Look for a dot that looks like a star but is slowly moving. It will initially start out dim but will get brighter and brighter. It may even look like an aircraft but it won't have flashing lights.

Tip: When trying to spot it in the sky. It won't be visible a couple minutes ahead of the listed times. It will appear at the time listed. If you see something that you think is it five minutes before, it is either a star, a helicopter, and airplane or a UFO (haha).

Viewing Time:
  • Cape Girardeau (Southeast Missouri): Starting at 7:57pm (local time) look to the northwest. The space station will track across the sky, reaching a maximum elevation of 53° above the horizon, and exit to the east-southeast. It will be viewable for five minutes.
  • Chicago: Starting at 7:58pm (local time) look to the west. It will track across the sky, reaching a maximum elevation of 56° above the horizon, and exit to the southeast. It will be viewable for four minutes.
  • Columbus (Indiana): Starting at 8:57pm (local time) look to the west-northwest. The space station will track across the sky, reaching a maximum elevation of 72° above the horizon, and exit to the southeast. It will be viewable for four minutes.
  • St. Louis: Starting at 7:57pm (local time) look to the northwest. The space station will track across the sky, reaching a maximum elevation of 62° above the horizon, and exit to the east-southeast. It will be viewable for five minutes.
  • Indianapolis: Starting at 8:58pm (local time) look to the west-northwest. The space station will track across the sky, reaching a maximum elevation of 69° above the horizon, and exit to the southeast. It will be viewable for four minutes.
A couple of years ago I took a picture of the space station during one of the viewable fly-overs with my iPhone. It looked like a dot in the picture but when I zoomed in on the picture I could see the shape of it. I am not sure what it would look like with binoculars or a telescope but I imagine you would definitely be able to see the shape.

Information about the international space station.
  • Currently, there are six crew members aboard the ISS. Three from Russia. Two from the United States. One from Japan.
  • The space station is as long as a football field (357 feet).
  • Living space is 12,705 cubic feet.
  • It weighs 925,627 lbs.
  • 2.3 million lines of computer code to run the space station.
  • 8 solar rays generate 84 kilowatts of electricity.
If you go out and see it, leave a comment and tell me what you thought of it.

4 comments:

saw it just now it was awesome.

Pretty neat! Amazing how precise the timing was! =)

Just saw it at Troy, Mo @ 7:57 pm. Pretty neat!

Saw it Cobden, Il. Thanks John for giving us the heads up.

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