Did I just see the ISS?

Monday, June 28, 2010

The ISS is especially visible at the moment as its course is now taking it along the area between day and night, and this results in a lot of sightings per day as well as extra visibility due to the sunlight reflecting off it. It's 7:40 pm here in Seoul, and I left the house for a bit to see a sighting that was supposed to happen now:

Date Starts Max. Altitude Ends
Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
26 Jun 03:44:37 10 NW 03:47:26 43 NNE 03:50:20 10 ESE
26 Jun 05:21:00 10 W 05:22:32 13 SW 05:24:05 10 SSW
26 Jun 20:11:33 10 SSW 20:14:04 27 SE 20:16:36 10 ENE
26 Jun 21:46:58 10 W 21:49:23 23 NNW 21:51:50 10 NNE
27 Jun 02:36:30 10 NNW 02:38:39 18 NNE 02:40:48 10 ENE
27 Jun 04:11:18 10 WNW 04:14:07 43 SW 04:16:58 10 SSE
27 Jun 20:37:45 10 WSW 20:40:34 66 NW 20:43:32 10 NE
27 Jun 22:15:36 10 NW 22:16:27 11 NNW 22:17:19 10 N
28 Jun 03:02:38 10 NW 03:05:29 50 NE 03:08:25 10 ESE
28 Jun 04:39:30 10 WSW 04:40:32 11 SW 04:41:33 10 SSW
28 Jun 19:29:26 10 SSW 19:32:04 32 SE 19:34:43 10 ENE

(the one at the bottom - see heavens-above.com for passes over your area)

but it's still quite bright right now and a bit hazy so I didn't expect a sighting. I did notice something that looked like an airplane though...and it happened to traverse the exact same route the ISS was supposed to, vanishing at exactly 7:35 pm. The last time I saw the ISS was around February 2009, and since then there has been quite a bit of construction:

- New solar arrays (these are the biggest change in terms of visibility)
- Japanese Exposed Facility
- Poisk
- ExPRESS Logistics Carrier
- Cupola, Tranquility (Node 3)
- Rassvet

So maybe it was the ISS. Seoul will have another pass in two hours so assuming the weather is clear enough I'll find out then whether the ISS has really become this visible over the past year and a half.

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