Re: Weather prediction

Date: Mon Sep 19 2005 - 02:24:49 EDT

  • Next message: Russell Eberst: "2005SEP18.OBS"

    In a message dated 9/16/2005 12:42:57 P.M. Pacific Standard Time,  Dinogeorge 
    >>Well, the Heavens Above Web site tells me that the ISS is due  to pass 
    almost directly over San Diego (my home town) a little after 8 pm Sunday  night. 
    It'll be about magnitude -1, so it should be quite a sight, especially as  the 
    sun sets on the station shortly after it passes by the zenith point (near  
    Vega) and it fades out of sight. Old hat to everyone else on this list, of  
    course, but nevertheless something I with my aging vision will be able to  
    appreciate. Usually the ISS appears here dimly, something like 10 or 20 degrees  above 
    the horizon at magnitude 2 or so, not particularly comfortable for  observing 
    in between the houses and trees and such.
    Therefore, I predict  that the sky will be completely overcast Sunday 
    evening, so that I will be  unable to enjoy the ISS passover. I make this prediction 
    to test whether the  Fates are more interested in letting me see the station, 
    and thus proving me  wrong, than in proving me right.<<
    I realize that the mind slows a bit with age, but I believe I am still  
    capable of reading a satellite ephemeris and accompanying star chart on which is  
    clearly printed that the ISS will appear in the NW on September 18, 2005 at  
    20:13 Pacific Daylight Time and will pass almost directly overhead in San Diego, 
     California something like 3 minutes later, pretty bright at magnitude -0.9.  
    After all, Vega is clearly marked on the chart and, by golly, IT was right 
    where  it was supposed to be, almost directly overhead. The sky was clear, the 
    moon was  just rising a day past full (so I know where, say, EAST is), and the 
    ISS? Well,  the ISS was NOT THERE.
    I began watching shortly before 8 pm Sunday night,  eyes glued to the NW, 
    11x80 binoculars strapped around my neck. When my watch  said 8:15 and no sign of 
    the ISS I began to wonder what was going on. I did spot  a few airliners and 
    a helicopter during my little vigil, and to amuse myself  scanned the moon's 
    face as it slowly climbed upward from the horizon. By 8:30 I  decided that I 
    had somehow misread the chart and that maybe I should re-emerge  around 9:00 in 
    case the chart had given standard time by mistake rather than  daylight time. 
    Nope, no ISS at 9:15 either. By then evening clouds were  gathering, but a few 
    stars were still visible through the haze and I don't think  I could have 
    missed something as bright as the ISS.
    I simply dunno what  happened; something is definitely amiss with the Heavens 
    Above website. The  evening was rather a bust after that.
    The same chart says the ISS will  pass over San Diego again from the NW on 
    Tuesday evening at about 7:30 pm, not  quite as high or as bright. Will I waste 
    more time looking then?
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