Sunday, February 8, 2009

International Space Station Visible Pass

I had the opportunity this past Thursday evening to view the International Space Station as it passed over Georgia from the NW to the SE. This is the first time that I've ever seen the ISS and it was a treat. The space station is in a Low Earth Orbit and can be seen from Earth with the naked eye; it orbits at an altitude of approximately 190 nautical miles above the surface of the Earth, and travels at an average speed of 17,210 miles per hour, completing 15.7 orbits per day. This pass was visible primarily due to the position of the ISS relative to the setting sun which reflects off the station and makes it appear as a bright light traveling across the sky. Lorie, Charlotte, and Jackson all stood out in the front yard with me as I looked skyward. We were able to see the station fly over from horizon to horizon. What a great pass! I was also listening to the HAM station downlink frequency on the handheld and the scanner but they still apparently have the repeater turned off. Looking forward to a couple of other good passes later in the month.

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