Friday, July 18, 2008

International Space Station Flyovers

One of the regulars on the NYC Kayaker list publicizes a series of non-organized Full Moon Paddles that happen out of Foundry Cove in Cold Springs, NY. They're completely informal, there's no leader, you bring your own boat & you're responsible for your own safety - all W. does is announce what time you'll likely find a bunch of paddlers there getting ready to enjoy an evening on the river.

I'm not sure exactly what night the Cold Springs Full Moon Paddle is this weekend, but W. posted another interesting event today. I'm trip leading at Sebago in the morning, so I'm not going to try to get myself out to somewhere with a good view of the correct patch of sky (aside from having stuff to organize & needing to get a good night's sleep, I'm also not sure how good a view I'd get, being a resident of the glowing megalopolis itself). But it does sound neat, so post it, I will.

Out on the Hudson River tonight, a most wonderful thing awaits: a flyby of the International Space Station! If you haven't witnessed this before make a point of it for it's an experience you won't soon forget. It is, save for the moon, the brightest thing in the night sky and even small binoculars will give you some hint as to its size and shape.

At 9:49 PM tonight, head on out to a place with a wide view of the sky, especially to the south southwest. While it's unfortunate this puts the sky into the glow of the megalopolis to our south, the ISS will quickly rise in the sky to about 54º above the horizon at 9:51PM and then take another two minutes to pass into the northern horizon. It will be the really bright "star" moving silently through the sky.

If you're out in the early morning hours, the ISS will repeat it's crossing of our skies beginning at 4:11 AM tomorrow morning coming out of the west northwest and will reach an elevation of 85º, almost directly overhead.

If you miss this evening's flyby or cannot get up in the morning, you can repeat this tomorrow night starting at 10:12PM looking a bit further to the west than tonight. The ISS will reach 44º elevation at 10:15PM.

Interested in finding out more about flyovers visible in your area? NASA can help you out!

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