Any astronomy enthusiasts here?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cyclone42, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Cyclone42

    Cyclone42 Guest - The Omaha World-Herald: Metro/Region - Shuttle, space station shining

    I found this article. I think it would be interesting to see the shuttle/space station moving across the sky. I've never gotten around to doing something like this, partly because all the light pollution in Omaha makes skywatching difficult, and partly because I know nothing about astronomy so I have no idea where to look.

    If someone could give me some tips on where and when to look to find the shuttle and space station, I'd appreciate it.
  2. cydswipe

    cydswipe Member

    Jun 12, 2007
    Meat Market Manager
    Maquoketa, Iowa
    We saw it the other night while camped out during Ragbrai. I'd start looking about 10:15 to about 10:35, find the big dipper, it is usually in that area or a bit to the west of it. It stands out big time, and fades out after about 15 seconds.
  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy CF Founder
    Staff Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    IT Manager
    Waukee, IA
    Check to see if there are any astronomy clubs, parties etc as those things usually treat newbies really well and answer questions, share scopes, etc to see if it's something you'd like to do more with - or even just for a one time viewing.

    I used to be a member (for a short time) of the Ames Area Amateur Astronomers and there are similar clubs/groups/organizations all over if you look in the right places.
  4. cyclone13

    cyclone13 Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2009
    Human Space Flight (HSF) - Realtime Data

    No need to use telescope - naked eyes are the best as it moved really fast.
    I am quite lucky: my city has a "star watch" every first friday of the month (although only 4-5 people attend) organized by a real astronomer. Now my city is building a small observatory after getting a telescope donated by U of M Duluth.

    If you like to do more than just looking at the ISS, I suggest you go to one of the observing sessions. At least it gives you a starting point. I used to think that I'll need telescope to enjoy the sky but now I am really happy to see skies and try to figure out the constellations using naked eye, though I never waste any opportunity to see the planets through telescopes.
  5. superfan

    superfan Well-Known Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    AST, GN&C
    League City, TX
    #5 superfan, Jul 26, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
    Good website for ISS/satellite passes:

    Heavens-Above Home Page

    You can put in your location and get visible passes for the next 10 days. Best times for viewing are right before sunrise and right after sunset, as your location needs to be dark but the sunlight can still hit the station's solar panels and reflect the light back to you.

    I've also heard that if you have a good telescope, you can make out the station's structural elements.

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