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Feb 28, 2013, 12:28 PM
Grumpa Tom
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ISS Flyover

I have never seen the ISS fly over before. So I decided to give it a try. I sat down in a chair and looked toward the northwest. I watched a few airplanes fly by (I live very near Van Nuys airport) and looked at a few faint stars and wondered what the space station might look like.

Off in the distance, in the northwest, I spotted an airplane with its landing light on. Nothing unusual there as I see that often with planes coming into VNY at night. But this one had no other lights. No flashing strobes, no red or green. And it was moving pretty fast. I thought it must be an airplane. I thought this for a minute or two. Then I thought to myself, "wait a minute, that must be the ISS!"

I could not believe how bright it was. And how fast it was moving, once I realized it was up in orbit.

I snapped some photos with my 300mm lens. All I saw with my eyeglasses on was a bright round dot. Once I brought the images into my computer and saw them at 100% I was thrilled to see the ISS with its outer solar panels. Very awesome!

Most of the pic's turned out too blurry but a few came out decent enough.
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Feb 28, 2013, 02:37 PM
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A few years back, they mentioned on our local news that the ISS would be visible that night. I didn't think that you would be able to see it with the naked eye, but sure enough, it appeared exactly where and when they said it would. I was impressed by how bright it was and, as you mentioned, the speed! I'm impressed that you were able to capture the solar panels in your photos. Very cool!

I have also seen some higher orbiting satellites (also with the naked eye,) but they are much more difficult to spot. You also have to be pretty far away from any city lights.
Feb 28, 2013, 05:16 PM
Grumpa Tom
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When it is scheduled to fly over my location again I will at least know what to look for. And maybe get some better pictures. It was a pretty neat experience.
Mar 04, 2013, 10:29 AM
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Harry H's Avatar
Yeah right, it's probably a moth lit up by your patio light Pretty cool Tom.


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