That's no moon, it's a space station
May 13, 2004 7:15 AM   Subscribe

ISS-Jupiter Transit tonight. Notable space station flyover tonight for you skywatching East Coasters: the ISS will pass quite close to Jupiter, and some of you lucky ones [coordinates|map] will even see the station briefly eclipse the planet. (Side note: Remember those days when everyone was using its radio call sign "Alpha?" Now the media just say "space station." Sigh.) East Coast, 9:30pm, I'll be outside, looking up.
posted by brownpau (9 comments total)
A related question (maybe better for AxMe?):

The wife and I were in New Orleans this weekend. A guy had set up a big telescope, probably 4 feet long and 8-10 inches in diameter, right on Jackson Square. For $1, you could have a look. I did, and saw Saturn with VERY clear rings, then Jupiter with cloud bands and three moons. It was all so clear that it looked fake. Was it?
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:30 AM on May 13, 2004

posted by ShawnString at 8:03 AM on May 13, 2004

MrMoonPie - It was real, but you either paid extra or left a generous tip.

While decent-quality telescopes can spot objects in the solar system,
a number of amateur stargazers' societies will gladly permit passersby
to view the heavens for free. In fact, some groups will encourage people
to join in on a session via handbills posted on bulletin boards at the local library.

Without knowing that, one dollar isn't a major offense; the view you took
in was priceless enough. But should you find anyone asking five bucks
or twenty, keep walking.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:34 AM on May 13, 2004

Thanks for posting this. I tried several times to catch the ISS going past, but was always thwarted by weather.
posted by coelecanth at 9:12 AM on May 13, 2004

The guy was charging money to give people a look? How crass. I would never think of asking for money to let passers-by take a look, and nor would any of the many amateur astronomers I know.
posted by holycola at 10:04 AM on May 13, 2004

Yeah, but, you know, they charge for sex in New Orleans, too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:07 PM on May 13, 2004

I just saw the ISS go by, almost exactly overhead from here near Philadelphia. It missed Jupiter by about a lunar diameter. If you're interested in other satellite sightings, NASA provides a frequently-updated list of sightings by city for a lot of US locations and a number of international sites.
posted by jkilg at 6:47 PM on May 13, 2004

9:58 pm EST, just came back from the National Mall, watched the station fly overhead. Unfortunately the clouds were obscuring Jupiter so I didn't get to see any conjunction, but wow that thing orbits fast.
posted by brownpau at 6:58 PM on May 13, 2004

I saw it, I saw it! I remember sitting outside to watch when the ISS (?) was docked with the Mir. Thanks, brownpau--way cool.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:26 AM on May 14, 2004

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