Sunday, June 23, 2013

Brilliant ISS pass over Indiana

My brother called me on Thursday night to let me know the International Space Station would be flying overhead later that night. He said he heard it on the news. I verified by going to Heavens-Above and saw that indeed the ISS would be flying over Indiana at 11:00pm at -3.4 magnitude reaching a max elevation of about 60° or so.

I'm glad they reported it on the news, but you can tell they only report the really spectacular passes otherwise they'd be listing a handful of visible passes every couple weeks.

What luck! The station would be flying out of the NW directly toward my balcony, and the sky looked like it would cooperate. This was a great chance to try out ISS spotting from this new location, along with an app I've been dying to test under these circumstances - It's called Precise Time () and it "synchronizes time from high resolution Atomic Clocks from around the globe." Unfortunately it doesn't have the ability to SET your iPhone's clock, but you can open the app to see the seconds ticking away in precise time.

I used the app to watch for the appearance of the ISS, and was successful in comparing the predicted appearance within +/- about 1 second. This could be very handy for spotting Iridum Flares!

international space station over indiana
Series of 20 second exposures stacked (you can see little breaks in the ISS path)

international space station over indiana
Series of 15 second exposures stacked (point and shoot camera)

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