Observation Last Night : ISS

Last night I went out at 9:25 to see what the cloud cover was like and first thing i saw was the almost full Moon shinging brightly through a large gap in the clouds. I managed to take a few digital shots of it and will post them here later if their quality is good.

With the International Space Station due to appear over the horizon at 9:34pm, there was a fair bit of cloud around and I wasn’t sure I would see it. I then saw a bright light in the west about 35 degrees above the horizon and thought it was the ISS. But it wasn’t moving in the sky and turned out to be Jupiter which had a magnitude of -2.25.


The cloud was moving fast heading North and at 9:37 I knew the ISS was due any second…. the problem was that there was a lot of thick cloud overhead so I was almost convinced that the cloud would block my view of the space station.


Then I saw the ISS coming from the north-west moving through the sky at the same speed as a 747 on full flaps. I knew the magnitude of the Space station was going to be -3.1 but I was still surprised at how bright the ISS was. You could tell it was just a little bit more brighter than Jupiter.


ISS Over Sydney (Click to Enlarge)

Through it’s passage across the sky, it was hidden behind cloud for a total of 5 seconds but for the rest of the time it was visible in a large gap in the clouds. That was good timing considering the sky was about 63% cloud covered,


Late last night I put this picture together that you see in this post to show what I saw last night. I do recommend you have a look at the ISS when it next flies over Sydney. Keep an eye here for updates here on when the next passover will be.

There was too much cloud around for any other observing  so it was good to see the ISS passover.


~ by sydneystargazers on December 2, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: