Re: ISS sighting from plane?

From: George Roberts (
Date: Thu Nov 06 2008 - 16:37:39 UTC

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    >I just joined your list ... sounds fun!
    >I was wondering if someone out there could help me out [...]
    It couldn't have been the ISS.  I used h-a to check.
    I started by selecting albuquerque NM, clicking iss, clicking orbit, clicking 
    "passes (all)" clicking "prev" to go back in time.  Already I can see there are 
    no passes (even invisible dark passes).  But then I clicked on the nearest (just 
    after midnight on Nov 3, then I subtracted .063 for each pass (tle shows 15.7 
    passes per day so I did 1/x) and edited the date in the URL.  As you go back a 
    pass or two you can see that there won't be anything near NM.
    >it seemed to linger too long for an Iridium flash (and was too bright).
    You might be right about lingering - they tend to only be brighter than jupiter 
    for maybe 5 seconds but they can certainly be much much brighter than the ISS. 
    About 50X brighter.  You may have never seen a -8 iridium flash but they are 
    quite spectacular.
    Can we get more information?  there were thousands of satellites in the sky at 
    5:15.  How close to south do you think you were looking?  When you say it moved 
    north and east it is better to say "up, down, left, right".  Are you saying 
    slightly up maybe and definitely to the left?  How long was it bright?  10 
    seconds?  2 minutes?  When you say 5:15 local what time zone was your watch in 
    (pacific?)?  It should be an 8 hour difference (not 7) unless you hadn't changed 
    your watch (that was the day we changed the clocks - sunday) or if you were on 
    mountain time.  How many hands above the horizon would you say it was (where 
    each hand is about 10 degrees)?
    - George Roberts 
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