Hudson, Iowa ISS-Jupiter encounter

From: Tom Wagner (
Date: Fri May 28 2004 - 19:20:21 EDT

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    Last night, after an awards banquet, I was planning on getting things
    finalized for videotaping an ISS-Jupiter encounter that was to occur just
    after 10:46 PM local time. However, after the meeting, my better half wanted
    to celebrate by going to have dessert. Family or satellites--which comes
    first I thought. Family, then satellites, I'll compromise! The treat meet
    squeezed my time to the point where I had to quickly drive to the site 6
    miles south of my home. The path to be on turned out to be right across my
    wife's cousin's backyard! I only had time to set up my video camera on a
    As I was frantically getting ready, the ISS was seen approaching the planet.
    About 15 degrees before the transit, my son and I said, "No way is that
    going to cross Jupiter!" Well, it did! At least as far as we could tell w/o
    optical aid. In the camera FOV was seen Jupiter and the waxing moon. The
    ISS, a fine dot, approached and momentarily became one with the stationary
    dot as far as we could tell then passed on below the moon a few degrees.
    Before leaving for the site I made a final run with new TLEs the day of the
    event. That pushed the centerline about a half a mile south of Tom Fly's
    automatic prediction, one that was a few days old.
    We were delighted in having the chance to see such an accurate encounter of
    the Station with such a small spot in the sky. Next time I plan to set up
    days in advance and try to get it on tape as seen through my 8-inch scope.
    My thanks go to Ted, Tom, Kevin, John, Björn and many others for your
    invaluable service to this group!
    Tom  Iowa  USA
    +   +   +
    Latitude: 42.473513              42 deg  28' 25"
    Longitude: -92.360413          92 deg  21' 37"
    GMT -6 hours (-5 hours now)
    Meters above sea level: 274
    P.S. Has anyone else sensed that it looks like a transit is not going to
    occur when the satellite is at least 15 degrees from an object that you know
    it is going to cross? Is this an illusion?
    Also, just today I heard the photocopy machine technician say something
    about has involvement with boyscouts. Having a long time interest in helping
    out in that area I inquired about it and discovered that he's a big wheel in
    the local scouting group. I offered my services in all areas of science and
    specifically shared about my interest in satellite observations, especially
    transits. He's excited about the opportunity the kids may now have to learn
    something totally new, i.e. the art of observing satellites and much more.
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