ISS near Venus

From: Tom Wagner (sciteach@mchsi.com)
Date: Sat Jun 01 2002 - 01:00:20 EDT


Tonight I checked Heavens-Above and noticed that the ISS was going to get
very close to Venus as seen from my location. I did some quick checking and
found that if I drove about 20 miles south I would get a very close pass if
not a transit of Venus by the station. I had only 30 minutes to grab my 5
in. tele and make the trip!

I hastily stopped to set up at Lat. 42.2252154 N and Long -92.349468. About
three minutes after my arrival, at 21:56:51 local time, the ISS passed about
0.08 degree to one side of Venus. I watched it move through my scope at 50X.
I was hoping for a perfect alignment but even though I didn't get it, it was
a nice show all the same! The Station was definitely reddish as it cruised
by. I then tracked it using my scope until it slipped behind a cloud a
couple degrees above the NE horizon. It was very faint when I lost sight of
it.

Coincidentally, while out there with my telescope I was also blessed with a
beautiful lightning show to the south, perfectly still pleasantly warm air
and a beautiful night sky---not to mention the first fireflies of the season
and a chorus of tree frogs off in the distance. It was a perfect evening.
:~)

I suspect that a number of other people could try to get an alignment of the
ISS with either Venus or Jupiter right now since they are both favorably
positioned in the western sky after sunset.

Good night and clear skies tomorrow night,

Tom
NE Iowa
USA
.....

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