Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ISS and Discovery Flyby

First, yay, 200 followers, thanks for following guys. I really hope you all have been enjoying what I've been writing of the past month. There are no plans to quit.

So last night, Tuesday night that is, the International Space Station (ISS) and Space Shuttle Discovery raced over head through the night sky for a few brief moments. I wish I had had enough warning about it to post something on the blog to get people to check it out where available. Anyways, I went out and watched them both speed across the sky. They were easily the brightest things in the night sky besides the small sliver of the growing moon. I didn't get pictures, but some one from the Harford County Astronomical Society did, check it out:

Credit: HCAS

It's was a beautiful sight, but a somber moment realizing this was the last time these two would share the skies together again. Discovery landed around noon today, 12 PM EST, and officially Earth-bound. However, the ISS tends to fly over head rather often, and is always identifiable as this steady moving bright light across the sky. I wouldn't be surprised if some people thought it was a UFO. Anyways, you can check out on sighting opportunities where you live using this NASA web page.


Another cool picture taken is of the space shuttle rolling. To explain this picture, you've seen pictures of the dark underbelly of the shuttles, right? Well, it doesn't tend to reflect as much light, so as the shuttle rolls, and this dark region points towards the ground, there appears a little blip in the bright trace of the shuttle across the sky. I think its just a kind of neat little thing to see.
Credit: HCAS

In some personal news, which I've been trying to keep to a minimum, I'm going to be rather busy the next couple days. I have company here for the weekend and on Saturday night I am going to be at the HCAS open house, doing what I do best. So if I miss updating one day, nothing to worry about. Also, in more exciting news, next weekend I am going to the Thrill of Discovery Educator Workshop at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, run by NASA. After that, I intend to thoroughly enjoy some St. Patrick's Day spirit. So I might be AWOL next weekend too.


31 comments:

Chris said...

Have fun for St. Patrick!

THUNDERCAT832 said...

I am actually thinking about purchasing a telescope soon! You and your blog is actually inspiring me to watch the stars instead of the stupid ass "reality" shows on tv!

Evan said...

Congrats on the 200 followers man. Keep it up!

rndmg123 said...

nice pics! congrats on the 200 too, i hope to achieve that many some day..

LunaSihne said...

Hm. The stars....

J J Constantine said...

grats on 200 followers.. im at 98, so you are winning! ;)

I had a telescope as a kid, I think I still do, but I forgot where it is... I'm inclined to dig it out and start stargazing again... your posts are really interesting. I see satellites in the sky all the time when i'm at my cabin, because there is virtually no light pollution, and you can see millions of stars (as opposed to the 20 or so i see on the clearest of nights here in the suburbs of St. Paul, MN)

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I am a bit saddened to see the end of the space shuttle era, especially when we don't really have a backup plan.

Well have fun with your company this weekend, and I will toast to you on St. Patrick's Day (my birthday)!

Adventure Person said...

Congrats on the followers, you deserve it! This is a great read by the way, keep it up :)

ankmanpro said...

Congrats on 200 bro! I'll be checking back soon! alphabetalife.blogspot.com

Malkavian said...

hey lookt at you bro 200+ keep up the good work

Lost.in.Idaho said...

Now that I can see stars, I'm with TC. A telescope is in my budget plans now.

Great picture. Discovery, it's been a fun voyage.

AnthropoSeptic said...

Too bad I missed it and it is indeed sad to see the end of Discovery.

Astronomy Pirate said...

@ TC and Lost, and others interested in telescopes, make sure to read my short guide on getting one. The cheap ones may not always be worth it. A decent one probably starts at around $300.

Everyone else, Thanks for the kind words!

Anonymouse said...

pretty cool stuff, i'll check out that nasa link a bit later.

Sam said...

Grats on the big 200!

JoeyPo said...

Though it's a shame to see this beast laid to rest, I remember hearing of a new shuttle that may take it's place, wish I remembered the name, anyways great post.

Kim Anders said...

wouw telescopes are not cheap ;O

mac-and-me said...

grats man!

Alphabeta said...

It's a major conspiracy - it WAS a UFO.

LiveTheBoss said...

Wow, that's pretty amazing. Looks almost like a plane and contrails going by at night.

akrater said...

Nice photos, got to check that telescope guide sometime.

Congrats for the 200 followers.

obi said...

Congratulations! keep it up ;)

Banacek said...

How long until we get to date green women and fight Klingons? Congrats on the followers!

Robert Fünf said...

I'd love to get a telescope, but there are many other things I should do with $300 if I found it lying around.

Naturalscienceblog said...

If you haven't seen this website before, then you must do it! Check out:
www.heavens-above.com
Point out your location on a map and get timedates and directions of where to look. There are amateur satelites, ISS, space shuttles when up and Iridium Flares.

Btw, nice pictures! If I knew them both would be visible, I would photo them. xD

I have some photos taken by me in south sweden of ISS passing by, I could upload them of you want.

Chuck said...

Great pictures. You need a pretty good camera to get reasonable shots of the stars. I guess the film was left open to capture these shots, like when they photograph lightning strikes.

thatguy said...

The sky is sooo beautiful.

Enjoy your weekends. :)

Astronomy Pirate said...

Yeah Chuck, I dunno how long the exposure time is, can't be more then 5 seconds though. They move pretty quick across the sky.

G said...

Have a cool weekend!

KillerKun said...

that shuttle image rocks!!

Matt said...

Cool pictures! It is kind of sad to think that the shuttles are flying their last missions, but it's progress, right?

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