Friday, December 15, 2006

International Space Station / Shuttle Discovery

I want to tell you about something super cool.

Wednesday evening, my neighbor over the cubicle wall at work, Dave, told me there was going to be a Space Station sighting at 6:51pm.

I got home about 6:30, and looked it up to be certain of angles and Number Two Daughter and I went out in our back yard, facing south, and right on time, what looked like a bright star scooting right to left and rising in the sky came across. It's slower than a shooting star, but the light is bright and steady. It finally winked out of sight after about a minute, or a minute and a half.

You know how, when the sun has already set, and the clouds are so far above you that for them the sun hasn't set and they are beautifully colored? It's the same principle at work here.

The space station and shuttle are 220 miles up and was being lit by sunlight, although the sun had already set for us on the ground. The sighting that occurred on Wednesday was from about 15 degrees above the horizon, SSW, and moved across the sky to about 30 degrees above the horizon, pretty much due south.

It's one of those things that, though it's not a spectacular event, it is really cool to realize what you are watching go across the sky.

Just wanted to share. Also, there's supposed to be three more opportunities for us here in Palm Bay, during this current mission to see it appear like that.


Dixiechick said...

I totally agree with you that this would be so cool to see. Thanks for sharing.

Hammer said...

I saw the space shuttle whiz by as it was landing back in 99.

The news said it was passing over Texas so my friend and I ran outside just to see it pass though the sky in less than a second. It looked like a fireball.