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don't think i told you ....

Thursday, April 28, 2016
...about seeing the Space Station cruising across the night sky recently? Did I? Or maybe I did, in which case, you can just disregard the following...

Someone to whom I am closely related, gave her half her DNA, told me about this website you can hook up with that will give you a notice when you can view. The 'spot the station' site will send you an email when it is someplace close enough to where you live that you might see it. You gotta look pretty quick, and of course, be in the right place at the right time.

The site will tell the direction where it will come up over the horizon line, and how many degrees above the line it will be at its peak. Then where it will be going arcing across the night sky, and where it will disappear. Around here, there is so much light pollution, it is hard to get far enough away from artificial light sources to be able to really view the night sky. I can go out and look directly overhead in winter and clearly see Orion. But trees in every direction block the horizon, so all you really get is  a pretty narrow view, nothing anywhere close to being able to see out there to the edge of the world.

A recent email said it would appear in the north-northwest sky, maybe about 50 degrees up, and be visible for only about three minutes. Soon disappearing in the west-southwest. So you have to be able to have a pretty clear view of most of the sky to catch a glimpse. I went out at the appropriate time, around 9:15, so it was plenty dark. Hoping to see it, but not really knowing what I was looking for?

I notice  a blinking object zipping across the sky, but a few minutes too early, so persuaded myself it must be a high flying airplane. Waiting, while being anxious about sitting out there in the dark by myself. And a bit paranoid as cars come barreling up behind me at about 70 mph, while I am pulled off to the side of the road.  Waiting, waiting, waiting, wondering precisely what I should be searching for? When just according to schedule: there it is. A little blinking blip, zipping along, just where the email told me it would be... hurrying across the night sky, off to make another orbit.

I was so pleased to see it, know I had found it... and amazed about the technology that makes it do what it does.

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