Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick
mckitterick

Aeronautical Images of the Day: Find the ISS and Discovery Shuttle

Right now, you can see both the Discovery Space Shuttle and the International Space Station as super-bright objects orbiting overhead. Each one of them looks like the brightest "star" in the sky, and with a pair of binoculars, you might even be able to see some detail! (They move too quickly to catch with a mounted telescope, unless you have a really fast drive set up to track satellites.)

International Space Station (ISS):

Click the image to see a story about the ISS.

The International Space Station is the biggest object orbiting Earth. With a magnitude of -4, it's also brighter than anything else in the sky except for the Moon and Sun. The station's solar arrays span 240 feet from tip to tip, almost as wide as a football field.


Click the image to learn more about the Discovery Shuttle.

Space Shuttle Discovery launched on March 15th (with Space Bat!), and is in orbit with the ISS for two weeks. It's at about magnitude -2.

There's something really cool about seeing these space-ships in orbit, so check out the cool tracking information NASA provides:

NASA Satellite Tracker Info for Lawrence, Kansas
(click the above link to find your city)
ISS sightings from Tuesday, Mar.24 - April 4
SATELLITE
LOCAL
DURATION
MAX ELEV
APPROACH
DEPARTURE
DATE/TIME
(MIN)
(DEG)
(DEG-DIR)
(DEG-DIR)

ISS
Thu Mar 26/09:09 PM
1
13
10 above N 13 above NNE
ISS
Fri Mar 27/09:35 PM
1
17
10 above NNW 17 above NNW
ISS
Sat Mar 28/08:28 PM
3
14
11 above N 10 above NE
ISS
Sun Mar 29/08:54 PM
3
30
10 above NNW 29 above NE
ISS
Mon Mar 30/09:22 PM
1
54
25 above WNW 54 above WNW
ISS
Tue Mar 31/08:13 PM
5
34
10 above NW 10 above E
ISS
Tue Mar 31/09:49 PM
< 1
15
12 above W 15 above WSW
ISS
Wed Apr 01/08:41 PM
3
60
39 above WNW 19 above SE
ISS
Thu Apr 02/09:08 PM
3
15
12 above WSW 11 above SSW

Shuttle sightings from Tuesday, Mar.24 - Mar. 31
SATELLITE
LOCAL
DURATION
MAX ELEV
APPROACH
DEPARTURE
DATE/TIME
(MIN)
(DEG)
(DEG-DIR)
(DEG-DIR)

SHUTTLE
Thu Mar 26/09:09 PM
1
12
10 above N 12 above NNE
SHUTTLE
Fri Mar 27/09:33 PM
1
19
10 above NNW 19 above N
SHUTTLE
Sat Mar 28/08:23 PM
3
13
10 above N 10 above NE
SHUTTLE
Sun Mar 29/08:46 PM
3
26
10 above NNW 22 above ENE


Here's a 3D guide on how to use the above information:

Click the image to see more info on finding the Shuttle and ISS.

Check 'em out and enjoy!
Chris
Tags: astronomy, the space age
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