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NASA 'Spot The Station' Space Station Sighting Alerts FREE

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  • NASA 'Spot The Station' Space Station Sighting Alerts FREE

    Hi everyone.

    NASA has a free service called 'SPOT THE STATION' that will notify you for free by email or sms (your choice) whenever there's good viewing potential from your position on our planet.

    No, they are not tracking you- the coordinates and time of appearance, duration, etc, will be nearly the same for a large geographical area, because the Space Station is traveling at a very high altitude, 205 miles above the Earth (330KM.) It's moving at a rate of 17,001 mph! (27,600 km/hr) That's about 5 miles per second.

    I've been enjoying this free service from NASA for about 2 years, and everyone I've shared it with has loved it. Tonight I renewed my registration for the year so thought I'd post the link here.

    NASA Spot The Station Alerts: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

    It's an amazing experience to watch the International Space Station soar silently over your head...when you see the huge arc it's following you realize it's in orbit. It's breath-taking! My Dad worked on the Space Station, so yes, I'm an enthusiast, but it's a wonderful experience for kids and adults alike. Bundle up the kids & let them watch from a hammock, they'll love it!

    If you wish to register just enter your email address or sms info, follow the instructions & verify that you want to be contacted. (You can cancel whenever you wish.) When the shuttle will be in a good position for viewing you'll get an email that tells you something like "Today, 7:54 pm, appearing WSW at 60 degrees, visible 6 minutes, disappearing ENE". Short and sweet; no spam of any kind.

    It will pass right over your head. Get out away from city lights if you can, but the Space Station is the 3rd brightest object in the sky so can be seen even from towns and cities.

    Just remember, the Space Station has an enormous steady golden light like a very bright star, and is perfectly silent- NO noise like an airplane engine and NO red or green blinking lights. (This info will help you not accidentally track a buzzing airplane the first time the Space Station appears over the horizon.)

    Have fun!
    Archaic

  • Archaic
    replied
    Hi Steadmund.

    Same for me; I got a number of Space Station notices, but we've had such cloudy rainy weather I couldn't see anything.
    Oh well, there will be lots more chances.

    Some of the very best Space Station viewing is in fall or winter on a cold clear night.

    Good luck,
    Bunny

    Leave a comment:


  • Steadmund Brand
    replied
    Originally posted by Archaic View Post
    Hi guys. I got an 'Spot the Station' email today. This is what it says:

    Time: Tues Oct 21 6:59 PM, Visible: 5 min, Max Height: 46 degrees, Appears: WNW, Disappears, E.

    Crossing my fingers that the clouds will clear away by evening, because the Space Station will be comparatively "low" in the sky and visible for a very long time - plus the Orionids Meteor Shower is occurring!

    I saw a meteor flit by once while watching the Space Station approach, and that was pretty cool!

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Best regards,
    Archaic
    I got one on Wed.. but it was not a nice night here.. too much cloud coverage and could not see anything .. can't wait till next time.

    Steadmund Brand

    Leave a comment:


  • Carol
    replied
    Originally posted by pinkmoon View Post
    I'm still bored
    Oh dear, pinkmoon. What would really cheer you up?

    Leave a comment:


  • GUT
    replied
    Originally posted by pinkmoon View Post
    N.A.S.A have just cancelled its proposed mission to send a probe to casebook to look for intelligent life.A spokesman is quoted as saying the prospect of the mission succeeding was just far to remote.
    But if they send the mission to "Casebook" they'll find plenty of intelligent life.

    Leave a comment:


  • Archaic
    replied
    'Spot the Station' Message Today

    Hi guys. I got an 'Spot the Station' email today. This is what it says:

    Time: Tues Oct 21 6:59 PM, Visible: 5 min, Max Height: 46 degrees, Appears: WNW, Disappears, E.

    Crossing my fingers that the clouds will clear away by evening, because the Space Station will be comparatively "low" in the sky and visible for a very long time - plus the Orionids Meteor Shower is occurring!

    I saw a meteor flit by once while watching the Space Station approach, and that was pretty cool!

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    Best regards,
    Archaic

    Leave a comment:


  • pinkmoon
    replied
    I'm still bored

    Leave a comment:


  • Carol
    replied
    Originally posted by pinkmoon View Post
    N.A.S.A have just cancelled its proposed mission to send a probe to casebook to look for intelligent life.A spokesman is quoted as saying the prospect of the mission succeeding was just far to remote.
    Glad to see you've cheered up a bit, pinkmoon!

    Leave a comment:


  • pinkmoon
    replied
    N.A.S.A have just cancelled its proposed mission to send a probe to casebook to look for intelligent life.A spokesman is quoted as saying the prospect of the mission succeeding was just far to remote.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carol
    replied
    Hi Bunny,

    I'm very impressed! Looking forward to hearing more about your Dad when you have time.

    Carol

    Leave a comment:


  • Archaic
    replied
    Top Secret

    Originally posted by Carol View Post
    Hi Archaic,

    I'm sure there are LOTS of us on here who would love to hear more about your Dad and his work on the Space Station. Of course, thinking about it, you might not be allowed to say anything more!

    Yours hopefully,

    Carol
    Funny you should say that - in the late 1990s my Dad took my nephew on a cross-country trip, to visit old friends, Navy pals, fellow Aerospace engineers, National Parks, etc. When they were near Washignton DC my Dad decided to take his grandson to the National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian.

    My Dad had a very high Security Clearance; he was an Senior Staff Aerospace Engineer and Program Manager for gigantic projects. Turns out the Smithsonian had an entire exhibition on a top-secret Space/Defense program that my father had worked on - but he didn't know it had ever been declassified! He had never even told my Mom!!

    My Dad told me he stood there in shock with his mouth open - there were big displays, banners, etc, all describing the "classified" program, and here he was still keeping it secret!

    I teased him about that for years, and he always laughed about it too. His big regret was that he didn't tell my Mother about the project, because he didn't know he could. I'm trying to recall what the name of the program was... aarrgh. He worked on so many, going back before the Apollos. I'll try to think of it.

    When I get some free time a little later I'll explain what my worked on re: the International Space Station. His usual speciality was Rockets, but it had to do with the Solar Arrays, the enormous folding solar panels that power the Space Station.

    Cheers,
    Archaic

    PS: When I was little, maybe 7 or 8, I remember my Dad got a new brown leather briefcase for his birthday. It had a combination lock on it, which impressed us kids.

    I said, "Daddy, set the combination to 007!" and he laughingly did. I thought that was so cool! I took it seriously, and never told anybody the combination. I was ready to walk the plank before divulging it.

    - Looking back, obviously my Dad didn't carry secure materials around in that briefcase!!
    Last edited by Archaic; 10-18-2014, 10:45 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Carol
    replied
    Hi Archaic,

    I'm sure there are LOTS of us on here who would love to hear more about your Dad and his work on the Space Station. Of course, thinking about it, you might not be allowed to say anything more!

    Yours hopefully,

    Carol

    Leave a comment:


  • Archaic
    replied
    Hi Carol, Penhalion, and Steadmund.

    When I renewed my yearly NASA sign-up the other day I happened to catch sight of the figure for the number of people signed up for Spot the Station - it's such a cool free service I expected it to be in the millions. It was some measly number like 310,000 and I was utterly shocked.

    I think NASA needs to promote Spot The Station and get more people interested in real Science... for starters, every student of any age needs to experience it at least once. So I decided to post the Spot The Station web-page for everyone here, and maybe you can tell others.

    It's funny so many people sit around the TV watching mind-numbing junk all evening,
    when if you just go outside and LOOK UP you can participate something absolutely amazing!

    The Station was just in my neck of the woods a couple of times this week at approximately 7:00 pm, but it's been very overcast. (Looks like our long hot beautiful Indian Summer is finally over, and the ''Seattle Rain Festival" is upon us.) Hoping I will get another chance next week.

    Usually the Station will come around at a certain time one night, then the next night on same trajectory but maybe at different height & will appear a few minutes later, and that often happens for 3-4 nights in a row.

    I'm not sure how the astronauts choose their course, but last year it always appeared from the WSW & disappeared ENE, and this go-round it's appearing from the WNW still heading ENE. They must be doing a different loop of the globe.

    I'm eager to see where in the world the station will be visible next, and which of you will get to see it.

    Anybody got a decent camera that can take night shots?

    Best regards,
    Archaic

    Leave a comment:


  • Steadmund Brand
    replied
    Thank you so much.. I just signed up as well.. look foward to my first sighting...


    Steadmund Brand--

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  • Carol
    replied
    Hi Bunny,

    I've just this minute signed in myself and showed your posts to Per-Åke. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Carol

    Leave a comment:

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