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Old 11-17-11, 06:02 PM   #1
TexasGuy
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Stargazers

There's a bright light overhead in the Fort Worth sky. Generally brighter and bigger than the few bright planets. It's not a star as it does not glimmer, however I'm pretty sure it's not a planet as it's been in the same region of the sky for longer than Venus is.

Is this the ISS? Anybody know of any good websites to confirm or look this up based upon location?
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Old 11-17-11, 06:05 PM   #2
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if it is the iss, you should be able to make it out with some 10x binoculars.
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Old 11-17-11, 06:10 PM   #3
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if it is the iss, you should be able to make it out with some 10x binoculars.
That's one thing I don't have - though ironically newegg was selling a 150 dollar 45x zoom on a tripod for 80 bucks a few days ago. Was half tempted to buy it but for the life of me couldn't come up with a valid excuse for needing it (and I had to shoot down the perving on the neighbor wife while she's showering idea).
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Old 11-17-11, 06:28 PM   #4
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Saturn is pretty high in the evening sky currently. The ISS moves quickly across the sky - similar to other satellites. The outer planets revolve around the sun much more slowly than the inner ones like Venus - so they don't move relative to the stars very fast.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:06 PM   #5
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It's the National Health Care System coming up.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:32 PM   #6
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http://www.heavens-above.com/

ISS is near Hawaii, and zooms across the sky. My wife and I went out one night to see a particularly bright passing, and "oh! oh look! there it is! that dot--OK, it's gone". Kinda anticlimatic.

The Bad Astronomer covers the ISS a lot, and he has posted a lot of great pictures taken from the ground of the ISS--along with some pretty stunning pictures from the space station. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/tag/iss/

To find out what it is, first follow these directions from http://www.stargazerpaul.com/info.htm:

Quote:
Hand Measures.
...Hold your hand out at arm's length in the direction you are viewing and close one eye. At this distance, your index finger is about 1 degree across, twice the diameter of a full Moon. (Most folks think of the Moon as larger and are surprised to find their finger can cover it.) A fist is about 10 degrees across, and a wide open handspan from thumb tip to little finger tip about 20 degrees.
This method works for adults and children, regardless of hand size. People with larger hands generally have longer arms, making their hand appear about the same size as one belonging to a person with a smaller hand and shorter arm.
Try it out. The bowl of the Big Dipper is about 10o wide -- about one fist-width. The Little Dipper is about 20 degrees in length -- about one hand-span. Measure Polaris' distance above your northern horizon. Its altitude in degrees will equal the latitude from which you are viewing. For example, in central Texas, near latitude 30 degrees N, Polaris is about 30 degrees, or 3 fists, above the horizon.

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Old 11-17-11, 07:35 PM   #7
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Aliens, like. Duh.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:47 PM   #8
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http://www.heavens-above.com/

ISS is near Hawaii, and zooms across the sky. My wife and I went out one night to see a particularly bright passing, and "oh! oh look! there it is! that dot--OK, it's gone". Kinda anticlimatic.

The Bad Astronomer covers the ISS a lot, and he has posted a lot of great pictures taken from the ground of the ISS--along with some pretty stunning pictures from the space station. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/tag/iss/

To find out what it is, first follow these directions from http://www.stargazerpaul.com/info.htm:
Hah well I guess that rules the ISS out because it's there all the time. Just seems way too bright to be a planet.
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Old 11-17-11, 07:54 PM   #9
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Can you provide the approximate degrees from the horizon, direction, and time you looked at it?
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Old 11-17-11, 07:58 PM   #10
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I would say it's pretty close to 75 now. It was a bit lower an hour or so ago.
Looking East
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Old 11-17-11, 08:20 PM   #11
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Drive over to Plano and we can use my scope on it. I will buy the beer and the bass.
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Old 11-17-11, 08:22 PM   #12
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Drive over to Plano and we can use my scope on it. I will buy the beer and the bass.
Hah. Look up at the sky - to the east. It's the brightest object out there. Tell me what it is!
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Old 11-17-11, 08:24 PM   #13
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That would require effort on my part, something I am not willing to give at this particular time. But you drive on over and I will point you to the hall closet where the scope is and the bar fridge where the beer is, and the creek at the end of the street where the bass is. The creek is to the east by the way.
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Old 11-17-11, 08:24 PM   #14
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It's Jupiter.
I've been looking at it through my little telescope for a month or so now.

Later on tonight ( midnight?)Mars and the moon will be up.

To see what's flying around up there, go here:

http://www.heavens-above.com

Put in your longitude and latitude and they will show you what is were.

We should start seeing Venus in the west after sunset soon.
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Old 11-17-11, 08:27 PM   #15
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It's Jupiter.
I've been looking at it through my little telescope for a month or so now.

Later on tonight ( midnight?)Mars and the moon will be up.

To see what's flying around up there, go here:

http://www.heavens-above.com

Put in your longitude and latitude and they will show you what is were.

We should start seeing Venus in the west after sunset soon.
Thanks.

Hah, yeah I was trying to make head or tail of that site. Wasn't having too much luck. I just don't remember planets being that bright.
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Old 11-17-11, 08:31 PM   #16
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Wait until you see Venus...

and...


I think you can put your city in there also.
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Old 11-17-11, 08:35 PM   #17
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Just watch for Uranus! (sorry, someone had to do it)

I actually saw Jupiter's moons for the first time last summer. I started looking around at night with binocs and taking advantage of being in the boonies with little light pollution, and thought something was wrong with the glass--there were these little specs around Jupiter. When I realized they were moons I was suddenly became a little kid again--don't have many of those "woah" moments these days.
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Old 11-17-11, 08:35 PM   #18
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Fort Worth
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Old 11-17-11, 08:36 PM   #19
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Just watch for Uranus! (sorry, someone had to do it)

I actually saw Jupiter's moons for the first time last summer. I started looking around at night with binocs and taking advantage of being in the boonies with little light pollution, and thought something was wrong with the glass--there were these little specs around Jupiter. When I realized they were moons I was suddenly became a little kid again--don't have many of those "woah" moments these days.
Hah, nice.
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Old 11-17-11, 08:37 PM   #20
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So if that's Jupiter that probably means that it is/was/will be in our line of gravitational pull.
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Old 11-17-11, 09:34 PM   #21
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Yep, its Jupiter. Saturn's also 'up' near the Moon in the pre-dawn morning darkness. Venus, too.

Here's another good site if you're really into stargazing:

http://stardate.org/


The 'tabs' just below the header give you tips on viewing individual constellations, planets and other stuff out there. I doa lot of backpacking and like to look at this site just bfore I go; the skies are so clear in the backcountry you get innundated with all the stuff that's out in the heavens.
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Old 11-18-11, 07:17 AM   #22
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there's also a russian probe that was destined for mars, but it's stranded in earth's orbit.
http://digitaljournal.com/article/314185
I don't think it's easy to spot this one, btw.
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Old 11-18-11, 08:04 AM   #23
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So if that's Jupiter that probably means that it is/was/will be in our line of gravitational pull.
Huh?

I don"t get "...line of gravitational pull". Jupiter and the Earth have very little, if any, gravitational influence on each other.
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Old 11-18-11, 08:08 AM   #24
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it was just jsharr out for his evening stroll.
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Old 11-18-11, 08:22 AM   #25
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So if that's Jupiter that probably means that it is/was/will be in our line of gravitational pull.
wha..??
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