March 6, 2010

The ISS, with Binoculars

Today, I found out that the International Space Station (ISS) was passing over almost directly overhead in my town. So, I grabbed my binoculars and headed out to catch the ISS. It was wonderful. Not only was it really bright at its peak (-4.3 magnitude!), its pass lasted about 7-8 minutes. This gave me ample time to focus on the space station with my binoculars.

The view I saw was mind-blowing! I had seen the ISS with my naked eye before, but the binoculars revealed some really cool details. I think I could pick out faintly the lines of the ISS' large solar panels and I was able to notice a few edges along the station's body. It was a great experience.