Re: NASA Quotes Thomas Fly on ISS - Jupiter conjunction/transit/eclipse

From: Ron (
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 09:57:30 EDT

  • Next message: Thomas Fly: "Re: NASA Quotes Thomas Fly on ISS - Jupiter conjunction/transit/eclipse"

    Hello Group,
    I've but lurking for a bit, but I'm relatively new to this list and to
    serious satellite observing in general.  I've been an amateur astronomer
    since about 1990.
    Tonight I'll try to observe the ISS Jupiter transit just a couple of miles
    away from home.  I've been downloading the most recent ISS orbital elements
    and then plotting the satellite track using SkyMap Pro.  In using the NASA
    spaceflight website for ISS's orbital element, I can get elements for either
    roughly day 134.5 or roughly day 135.5.  The event will occur around 0130 UT
    on day 135 (May 14).  I've plotted the satallite track for each set of
    elements, and one hits Jupiter and the other doesn't (actually, that one's
    nearly a Ganymede transit!).  My question then is this:  Should I go with
    the slightly early orbital elements, the slightly later orbital elements, or
    should I interpolate between the two times, in order to get the most
    accurate elements for the time of the transit?
    I do plan on checking for the latest elements online shortly before
    Ron Robisch
    Monrovia, MD
    On 5/13/04 2:31 AM, "Ted Molczan" <> wrote:
    > Congratulations Tom!
    > I have appended the URL and an excerpt from NASA's article.
    > Ted Molczan
    > May 12, 2004: On May 13th, weather permitting, sky watchers up and down the US
    > east coast can see the International Space Station (ISS) glide by the planet
    > Jupiter. The ISS looks like a slow-moving meteor, as bright as Jupiter itself.
    > When the two converge ... it's going to be beautiful.
    > The encounter will be widely visible from Alabama, Georgia, parts of North
    > Carolina and Tennessee, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and all
    > the states of New England. Most people in those areas will see the ISS pass
    > mere
    > degrees from Jupiter. A few observers are going to see the station actually
    > eclipse the giant planet.
    > The "path of totality," only about 80-meters wide, runs from Alabama to Maine.
    > Viewed from inside this narrow corridor, the space station will pass right in
    > front of Jupiter. It only takes a split-second for the ISS to cross the
    > planet,
    > but during that instant, Jupiter's cloud belts and its largest moons will wink
    > in and out among the station's gangly solar arrays and modules.
    > Space station transit expert Thomas Fly has prepared an ephemeris for this
    > encounter: Click to view a list of times, latitudes and longitudes where the
    > Jupiter-eclipse can be observed:
    > If you want to get inside the path of totality, try using a GPS receiver to
    > guide you to the listed coordinates.
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