July 6, 2009

International Space Station

We just had a great fly-by of the ISS, sweeping very quickly (almost 8km per second) from SWS to ENE. It is so big now (350 feet wide, apparently) that it is by far the second brightest thing in the night sky. It was amazing to stare up at it, knowing that mankind put it there and that there are humans aboard, including a Japanese astronaut right now.

Being able to track it from my desktop and then look outside and see it arrive right on schedule gave me goosebumps. What an incredible confluence of technologies.

Here is NASA's site for tracking the ISS. And here is Heavens-Above which will help you track the ISS from your location as well as give you predictions of Iridium satellite flares (great for convincing your friends that you can communicate with UFOs).

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