Friday, May 6, 2011

Free Fun Friday

Geek Alert! Looking for something free and fun to do tonight, or any night?

Look for the International Space Station!

Um, AnnoyingJoe, isn't it, like, y'know. in space and whatnot?

Sure is! But thanks to a fairly good sized reflective surface and an active, mediocre, middle-aged yellow sun, you can see it right from your own back yard. Weather permitting.

Gee whiz. Where do I look?

Up! Well first follow this little linky-link riiiiight............HERE! Then enter in the information as to your location as requested by the website. If you can't find your EXACT town, don't worry. Just pick the town closest, it shouldn't make too much of a difference. You should see something like this....



Wed May 04/09:33 PM
11 above W 19 above SW
Thu May 05/08:23 PM
41 above WNW 10 above SE
Fri May 06/08:47 PM
14 above W 11 above S

Now don't be intimidated. It's all very simple. ISS is, of course, the International Space Station. The time denotes the time in which the ISS is actually visible
The Duration measures how long the ISS will actually be visible from your location.
MAX ELEV is the highest point the ISS will reach as it arcs through the sky. The zenith, directly overhead is 90 deg.
APPROACH is the location at which the ISS initially becomes visible, and Departure is the location at which the ISS disappears from view.

Here is an excellent diagram from NASA with an example of an ISS sighting...
There you have it. If you haven't yet seen the ISS flying overhead, I highly recommend it. It is surprisingly bright and smooth as it glides on by and is a testament to what we are capable of. And the kids love it! Happy viewing.

1 comment:

  1. There is too much ambient light where we live in Florida, but we caught sight of the ISS while sitting on the deck in the back yard of my in laws' house in Massachusetts. Where they live, it gets about as dark as the inside of an ape's ass at midnight. Beautiful sight... the ISS, not the ape's butt ;-)