ISS Pass over Knoxville, TN, made out arrays? Other sats, 2 unknowns

From: Greg Williams (
Date: Thu May 22 2008 - 03:13:32 UTC

  • Next message: Jim: "Re: ISS Pass over Knoxville, TN, made out arrays? Other sats, 2 unknowns"

    Watched the ISS pass over Knoxville, TN at a low 19 deg angle tonight, 
    but it flared real nice at max elevation over us.
    Using 10 X 50 binoculars, I was not sure if I was seeing correctly, but 
    I thought I could make out an "H" shape, which I have never made out 
    before.  I wasn't sure if my eyes were playing tricks or if I really 
    made out the solar arrays.
    Has anyone used 10 X 50 or similar binoculars and been able to make out 
    the shape of the ISS before?  I know that telescopic lenses are used to 
    image the ISS from the ground, but wasn't sure their magnification.
    Time of pass: 2109 eastern time
    predicted -.9 mgnitude, but flare got to mag -2 for upwards of 30 
    seconds before fading to horizon.  This is when I could make out the "H" 
    shape as it was on closest approach.
    Also just saw Resurs 1-4 rocket pass over at 22:15 Eastern time.
    UNKNOWN:  Thought I saw Envisat though said binocs but this satellite 
    was traveling due East, went into eclipse at 22:30, and I caught it just 
    about 30 seconds before eclipse.  Elevation about 25-30 degrees, ESE of 
    my location.  Never caught Envisat.
    Cosmos 2237 Rocket - observed as predicted
    MetOp-A - observed as predicted
    UNKNOWN: 22:38-22:40 Traveling ENE, crossed during MetOpA pass, apprx 75 
    deg overhead at closest approach, mag 3.5
    Saw ISS again, first time Ive observed 2x in one night.  This time 
    passing NW to NE.
    My location:
    35.9676N, 84.0251W
    Several more scheduled.
    I use Heavens-Above so as you can tell I'm pretty green.
    Gregory S. Williams
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