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Icarus times Two
September 20, 2006 9:40 PM   Subscribe

The Space Shuttle Atlantis and The International Space Station...crossing the Sun.
posted by vacapinta (35 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Beautiful. Thanks.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:46 PM on September 20, 2006


whoa.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:50 PM on September 20, 2006


Tiny little things, aren't we.
posted by persona non grata at 10:03 PM on September 20, 2006


holy hell. that's incredible. thanks for the link.
posted by joeblough at 10:07 PM on September 20, 2006


Wow.
posted by delmoi at 10:25 PM on September 20, 2006


This reminds me of some crazy-ass show on public television by some amateur astronomer I used to see occasionally when I was a kid.
posted by delmoi at 10:29 PM on September 20, 2006


Damn, I'm going to have to get a bigger monitor just so I can fully appreciate that shot. That's beautiful.
posted by lekvar at 10:29 PM on September 20, 2006


Throw in the distance difference and it's not even comprehensible.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:41 PM on September 20, 2006


That sun thing is pretty big, I reckon.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:43 PM on September 20, 2006


That's incredible.
posted by vernondalhart at 11:02 PM on September 20, 2006


Wow. Very nice.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:18 PM on September 20, 2006


I've seen the space station about ten times this past summer, thanks to NASA's Human Space Flight (HSF) - Realtime Data page--well, the link to Seattle page therein. I would have been able to see the shuttle at the station if it had launched on schedule but no such luck. We had a two week dry spell for sightings right when it went up.

Now, what I 'd like to know is the how and why of the station's transits. The sighting page gives where it will appear and disappear and it's like magic. All of a sudden it appears and goes the predicted distance and suddenly fades and is gone. Sometimes it'll streak across the sky--and, man, does it move--and sometimes it'll appear and disappear well within a quarter of the sky. The best guess I have is that the earth's shadow must extend like a negative of a flashlight beam in the unseen three dimensional sky and the station shoots out and into it as it passes overhead, suddenly fading as it hits the atmosphere's shadow and then disappearing entirely as it his the earth's itself.

It orbits the earth in about an hour and a half and going west to east to boot. With luck, you can be able to see it twice in one hight, which I have done a couple of times. It's bright--brighter than Jupiter by far--and presents not a dot but rather more like a very short bright line in binoculars. I can't wait to see it again--with the new solar panels they attached with this last mission, it'll be even brighter. It is so cool to see it--I can't explain why but it is....
posted by y2karl at 11:52 PM on September 20, 2006


twice in one night...
posted by y2karl at 11:53 PM on September 20, 2006


Truly awesome, vacapinta, thanks for sharing.
posted by retronic at 12:09 AM on September 21, 2006


It just so happens that the "world's first paying female space tourist" is up in the space station.
posted by SteveInMaine at 12:41 AM on September 21, 2006


E.T.
posted by pracowity at 1:25 AM on September 21, 2006


So _that's_ what a couple billion dollar orbiting boondoggle looks like! Thanks, vacapinta.
posted by paulsc at 1:31 AM on September 21, 2006


That sun thing is pretty big, I reckon.

I was seriously shocked by its enormity. It's the difference between knowing a thing intellectually and seeing it demonstrated.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 4:04 AM on September 21, 2006


so if the ISS is roughly 200 miles above the earth's surface, and the circumference of the earth is 25,000 miles at its surface, how fast is the ISS moving in mph or kph to complete an orbit in 90 minutes? I failed calculus. Can you tell? :)
posted by yoga at 4:43 AM on September 21, 2006


..or...is the 7.4km/s the speed of the iss + shuttle noted on the link? so 26,640 kph? is that right?
posted by yoga at 4:48 AM on September 21, 2006


A couple days of the Iraq war covers it pretty well, paulsc.

Or a couple days of servicing the debt.

See also this.
posted by intermod at 4:49 AM on September 21, 2006


I remember, shortly after the space station was launched and inhabitable, and a US shuttle was launched to relieve the crew, my family stood outside for half an hour to watch the ISS and the shuttle pass overhead within seconds of each other (on the shuttle's approach to the ISS). Like y2karl implies, there's something transcendent about looking up into the stars and realizing, "Those little tiny satellites have PEOPLE on them!"
posted by muddgirl at 5:23 AM on September 21, 2006


And remember, PinkStainlessTail; the space station is only a couple hundred miles away, a few hours drive (if you could go straight up).... where the gigantic backdrop is ninety-three MILLION miles off.

I have trouble dealing with just the scale of the Earth; zooming in and out on Google Earth has entertained me far longer than it should. The whole planet, if it were at the same distance as the Sun, would be only a little bigger than the station in that shot.

And our Sun isn't even particularly large, as stars go.
posted by Malor at 5:34 AM on September 21, 2006


Very cool. We're so tiny!
posted by hifiparasol at 6:18 AM on September 21, 2006


It just so happens that the "world's first paying female space tourist" is up in the space station.

Woah. Three Dolphin Club!
posted by GuyZero at 6:46 AM on September 21, 2006


Man, that's gotta be warm.
posted by mendel at 6:49 AM on September 21, 2006


That's hot!
posted by CynicalKnight at 7:02 AM on September 21, 2006


That is really cool. I also like the photo on the bottom of the page, you can tell which cow is the starry-eyed dreamer in that herd.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:15 AM on September 21, 2006


today's APOD is this photo in (false?) color.
posted by [@I][:+:][@I] at 7:40 AM on September 21, 2006


There's a little black spot on the sun today.
posted by Tenuki at 12:01 PM on September 21, 2006


Delmoi:

This reminds me of some crazy-ass show on public television by some amateur astronomer I used to see occasionally when I was a kid.

Some people hustle pool, while others hustle cars...
Then there's that man you've heard about, the one who hustles stars!

Jack Horkheimer, Star Hustler.

Except he apparently changed the name to "Star Gazer" a few years back. It seems that kids Googling for "star hustler" were getting an educational experience of a whole different kind.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:09 PM on September 21, 2006


FYI, I don't know exactly what Horkheimer's credentials are, but he is* the director of the Miami Planetarium, affiliated with the Miami Museum of Science.

*Or was, when I was a tour guide for the museum 15 years ago.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:12 PM on September 21, 2006


"JUPITER... IS A PLANET!"

-- Jack Horkheimer
posted by joeblough at 5:25 PM on September 21, 2006


Since it was the first time it was easily visible here since before the shuttle went up, I went out this morning to check out the space station as it passed over at 6:08 AM. I wanted to see if it was noticeably brighter with the new solar panel array. It is.

And it presents even more of a dot--a square to diamond shaped dot--when viewed through binoculars. Pretty cool.
posted by y2karl at 6:23 AM on September 25, 2006


My brother created a Jack Horkheimer fanfic site in college as a gag.

Remember to KEEP. LOOKING. UP.
posted by EarBucket at 3:23 AM on September 26, 2006


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