Observation Log 6/17/07: ISS & Atlantis, a slim chance, a magic moment

Sometimes things just turn out right.

I’ve never seen the ISS while an orbiter was docked. I’ve been watching Heavens-Above for a good pass during the current mission. My hopes were high for a a chance tonight, even though the maximum altitude was only 45° or so.

A half hour before the overflight, it was raining heavily. Five minutes to go, and my alarm warned me. The rain was over, and I went outside not expecting much. There were a few small gaps in the cloud deck, and one gap about 4° wide, in a good place to spot the ISS through! As I waited, the night was quiet, and there were fireflies! I haven’t seen them since last year, and they faked me out a few times, thinking they were the ISS.

I had a quiet time, hoping the gap wouldn’t move and change shape too much before the ISS got there. A light breeze blew, and the air was fresh from the rain. After a long, peaceful moment, the ISS peeked out from behind the clouds and traversed the gap in the clouds. It was near orbital sunset, and turning orange as it flew. I smiled.

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One Comment on “Observation Log 6/17/07: ISS & Atlantis, a slim chance, a magic moment”


  1. […] but a the few holes, moving quickly, might have given me a brief glimpse of this high, close pass. I’d gotten similarly lucky with the ISS before, but not this time. If the US Navy does not shoot down the satellite on Wednesday, perhaps […]


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