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ISS Orbit

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#1 Hayballs

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:37 AM

Hello everyone,

 

Just wondering what my chances of seeing the ISS doing a flyby? I'll be using my Oberwerk 15x70 Deluxe binos.

I live in Stonehaven, North East Of Scotland.

My best elevated viewing point is The Black Hill (56.954958° N   2.202767° W) which gives open views from the horizon East to SSE. Looking further West from SSE sees local hills affecting low views.

I have the ISS app and Clear Outside app, but I don't yet know how to interpret the info they give.

Roll on the end of Lockdown so I can join my local astronomy society waytogo.gif

 

Thank you

 

Regards

 

H



#2 Jim Davis

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:39 AM

Check out this web site: https://www.heavens-above.com/

 

It will show visible passes, and if you click on them, a sky map showing the path.

 

Set it for your location in the upper right.


Edited by Jim Davis, 23 February 2021 - 08:39 AM.

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#3 Sincos

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 08:55 AM

Hello, Hayballs, welcome. The above mentioned heavensabove is the way to go. Have used it for many years and it even allows for multiple viewing locations. Interesting to notice how far north or south of your location that it is still visible. The ground track view can be surprising sometimes. Like sometimes when it is low on the horizon for me on the island of Newfoundland the ground track shows that it is directly overhead in Labrador. You might have a chance to see it in your sky while it is actually directly overhead for the Shetlands or Stavanger. Clear Skies



#4 LIVE LONG

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 02:01 PM

   SkySafari will show you when and where to look for the ISS. It even sends me a message when it is rising & shows the ISS rising & it's flight path, on my smartphone!



#5 spongebob@55

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 02:12 PM

I use the app 'ISS Spotter'    Most excellent.  Shows position on globe,  calculates flybys, direction and elevation,  beginning, peak and ending times and you can set alarms as reminders.   Lots of fun.

SB


Edited by spongebob@55, 23 February 2021 - 02:12 PM.


#6 ButterFly

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 02:49 PM

What you are looking for is the rising time and the direction.  You then look in that direction at the rising time and wait.  Sounds simple?

 

Practice on airplanes with the binos.  The ISS moves about as fast across the sky as airplanes.  Catching it in the binos then following it can be tricky.  Your mount is critical here to make your life easy.  You should see a clear H in those binos except when the ISS is very low in the sky.  Splitting the individual panels may be possible with great seeing and a very high pass.

 

Forgot to mention: it is not always lit up when it rises.  It can still be in the Earth's shadow for quite a while.  In that case, the track is usually marked differently when it is illuminated.


Edited by ButterFly, 23 February 2021 - 02:52 PM.


#7 Sincos

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 02:50 PM

Hi, Hayballs, again. Yeah am sure the above two phone apps will do what they say BUT if it moves across your sky it is probably tracked on heavensabove. I mean old booster rockets from the 60s on up, even Russian stuff complete with rise and set times. Even the Starlink satellite trains when they first launch. Just the brighter satellites passing over head tonight is usually a hundred or more. One advantage is that if you see something while you were out, when you get back home it is easy to check out what you saw by remembering time and a constellation it crossed.


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#8 RobertMaples

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 11:21 PM

Hello everyone,

 

Just wondering what my chances of seeing the ISS doing a flyby?..

I don't think anybody answered this question but the answer is your chances are excellent.  Skip the binoculars, at least at first, they're not needed to see it and will only make it harder to locate and track.  As mentioned, use the Heavens Above website.  Setup your location in the upper right of the page (I suggest creating an account so you can save your location), then under "Satellites" and "10-day predictions for satellites of special interest", click on "ISS".  It will give you a list of upcoming visible passes for your location (there are a lot coming up for Stonehaven), and you can click on a pass and it will give you a sky chart showing the pass. Again, look for it naked-eye - no binoculars.  The Heavens Above list gives the maximum brightness for each pass and the brighter passes ( -2 and brighter, remember. more negative is brighter, so -2 is brighter than -1 and -1 is brighter than 1) will be obvious and you may even think it's a plane, but it won't be blinking like a plane would be.  One you've located it you might want try your binoculars, they don't have enough magnification to really see any detail, but you might be able to see that it does have a "shape" other than just being a dot of light.


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#9 Tony Flanders

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:30 AM

Just wondering what my chances of seeing the ISS doing a flyby? I'll be using my Oberwerk 15x70 Deluxe binos.
I live in Stonehaven, North East Of Scotland.


If you are persistent, you will see the ISS. The trick is finding a clear night when the ISS happens to be making evening passes. These come in clumps; you will be able to see it several nights running and then not again for a while. As others have said, you best resource is Heavens Above.
 
Since the ISS is typically brighter than any star and occasionally brighter than Venus, it's exceedingly easy to spot. The only potential problem is confusing it with an airplane. Note that civilian airplanes always have multiple lights, usually flashing. Satellites appear as a simple point of light.
 
Tracking the ISS in 15x70 binoculars takes a bit of practice; it moves mighty fast. You may or may not be able to see it as more than just a point (or smudge) of light.


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#10 Hayballs

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 09:17 AM

Thanks for all the great info waytogo.gif

I've created an account with Heavens Above so will use this in my quest, along with no doubt, others as well

 

Clear Sky..... as we Astronomers say  lol.gif lol.gif



#11 sevenofnine

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 02:27 PM

I've tracked it with the ISS Spotter App and various binoculars including the 15x70's on a monopod. The ISS is about like Venus in brightness flying by like a jet airplane. The binoculars just changed the shape to a rectangle showing it's solar panels I assume. I could not follow it with my C-90 and a 32mm eyepiece. Just too fast for me anyway. Good luck! waytogo.gif



#12 MaknMe

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:51 PM

You can sign up at: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

And, they will text you when the ISS is visible in your area.

I view the ISS with my Oberwerk 8x40’s all the time. I can clearly see the shape of the station. You should see more detail.

#13 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 08:58 PM

I've seen hints of structure including solar panels when tracking the ISS with image stabilized 15x50s and with 15x70s.  It's easier to detect structure before and after the ISS is at peak brightness.

 

I've also tracked the ISS with small, alt-azimuth-mounted refractors and Dobs.  Passes when the ISS has a more horizontal path across the sky are easier to track.


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