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 International Space Station

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MikeandLouise
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:42 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is probably old news to some of you, but I recently found out that the Internation Space Staion (ISS) now has a streaming webcam on board.

You can see it here: http://freetubetv.net/index.php?view=9aXNzdHJlYW0

Sometimes the screen will be black (when the ISS is in the Earth's shadow).
Some other times, the cam is off. Most times though you can see the space shuttle airlock area of the ISS and the Earth above slowly rotating.
If the cam is off then you will just see an image of the Earth. There is also a logo at the top left corner.

I think they sometimes turn it off if the sun is going to shine directly onto the cam too. Maybe the bright light would damage the cam.

It's quite fun to watch the ISS enter the Earth's shadow, or even emerge into daylight as it moves around into sunlight again.

You can track where the ISS is (day side or night side) using this site: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/tracking/index.html

I think it's rather cool to actually see a live image of the ISS and Earth.

The webcam does seem to move around sometimes too to show different areas of the ISS.

Apparently, the space shuttle Atlantis is launching today (May 14th) to deliver something to the ISS.
If the webcam is not moved, and is kept running, then you should be able to see the shuttle attached to the ISS in real time.

Oh, and last night, when the ISS was in the Earth's shadow, I actually saw two bright streaks of light flash across the screen where the Earth was. I assume they were meteors.
I also saw some bright city lights gradually move across the top of the screen too. This would depend if the ISS is over land at night and there is no cloud cover.

Sorry if this is old news but I am still a big kid when it comes to space and all that stuff and I think this is rather cool.

EDIT:
Just took this screen shot of the ISS entering the day time side of Earth.
Image

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Last edited by MikeandLouise on Fri May 14, 2010 9:25 am; edited 2 times in total
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Roycropper
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

That's great, bookmarked, thanks.

As long as you not baiting us with some scene from a Scifi film....

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:58 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Great! Thanks for posting this info Thumbs up I love space stuff too, especially photos taken from up on high.

Talking of which, in case you haven't seen this:-

http://twitpic.com/photos/Astro_Soichi

Recent photos taken from the ISS, click on the photos to enlarge.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Hey! Stop watching my house for fun!

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

DAMN! I knew I should have closed the blinds.. Shocked

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:06 am Reply with quoteBack to top

This is my favourite. The ISS was in the right place at the right time when a Japanese volcano erupted,
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=38985
Image

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Sycamore
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 4:56 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

That is pretty cool. Very Happy. Shall give it a bookmark.

As for the twitter link, I shall be following him.

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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 5:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

On a clear night I've watched the ISS passing overhead
see http://www.heavens-above.com/ for timetable

I've also seen an Iridium flare
Not in Scotland* I may add but when on holiday in Greece.


* translation- land of cloudy nights and weeping astonomers

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MikeandLouise
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 1:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Mr Tambourine Man wrote:
This is my favourite. The ISS was in the right place at the right time when a Japanese volcano erupted,
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=38985
Image


Yeah seen that photo. It cool.

I like where the shockwave is pushing the cloud back.

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windypops
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Funny you should bring this up M&L. Some of my friends and I held a star party last night, I dug out my scope that has not seen the light of day (or night) for over a year or so for one reason or another. Weather was a bit disappointing but the beer and BBQ made up for it.

My scope, a Skywatcher 150P:

Image

I had a nice surprise with much lower than expected gas and leccy bill, last quarter, so may treat myself to a GO TO system later in the year.

N.B. GO TO is a computerised motor system that slews the scope to any point in the sky once the coordinates have been tapped in on a keypad. It's possible to see the space station if you point the scope in the right place and wait for it to cross the path. All you see is a dot flashing past but it's not something I've done.

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MikeandLouise
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Nice scope.
I used to have a telescope years ago. I now have a large pair of binoculars with zoom magnification that I use to see wideveiw shots of the milkyway, star clusters, ect...

I have used them to see various satellites, including the ISS.
Like you say, it's a bit like seeing a star that varies in brightness as it passes the field of view.

The space shuttle Atlantis is docking with the ISS today. The webcam has been moved but hopefully they will point it back in the direction of the airlock so we can see the shuttle too.

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MikeandLouise
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I just looked and the Atlantis is about to dock with the ISS.
Here are some screenies.

Image
Image
Image

So cool to see this in real time.

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:17 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Shocked
I just clicked now.
That´s a must see!

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MikeandLouise
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Last update lol.

The Atlantis has docked and is now being unloaded.
Image

Cool Cool Cool

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 2:50 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Oh goody they're here! The four seasons with extra cheese and anchovies is mine. Hope they remembered the free 1it of Coke. Very Happy

Great pics of the clouds rolling past underneath.

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Roycropper
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Great view at the moment of the shuttle's payload bay, as the Earth spins by.

Meanwhile, the trunkbox full of black notes has been unloaded....

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MikeandLouise
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

windypops wrote:
Oh goody they're here! The four seasons with extra cheese and anchovies is mine. Hope they remembered the free 1it of Coke. Very Happy


LOL.

They have now switched to a webcam on the shuttle itself.

Image


Edit...
The shuttle and ISS have entered Earth's shadow so Atlantis turns on it's cargo bay spotlights.

Image

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'What kind of game is this? I went to the bank this afternoon to cash out the Money, the cashier then told me that it was a fake payment. you make me look stupid right in front of responsible Men and Women'. - 0ke Edew0r

Last edited by MikeandLouise on Sun May 16, 2010 3:29 pm; edited 1 time in total
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windypops
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:23 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The Eater mod lounge, Slightly not at his post again I see. Rolling Eyes


Image

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Tsnerd
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:33 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

They're showing the astronauts now.

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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 7:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Got it bookmarked. Thanks Smile
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Cougar
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 9:04 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Amazing pictures, thanks for the links!

On a related note:
@ Windy / M&L - what kind of bins or scope would you advise for someone who is new to stargazing, but not of a technical nature? Embarassed

C x

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windypops
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:21 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^ A few Qs first.

What kind of stargazing are you interested in? Moon, Planets? Nebulae, Deep Space? A bit of both?

How much room do you have to use and store a scope?

What's your budget?

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MikeandLouise
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Cougar wrote:

On a related note:
@ Windy / M&L - what kind of bins or scope would you advise for someone who is new to stargazing, but not of a technical nature? Embarassed

C x


Well I started by using a basic pair of 10x50 binos. 10x50 means 10 times magnification with a 50mm main lens (objective lens).

Basically, the bigger the lens (or mirror) the more light can be 'collected' thus allowing you to see dimmer objects.

The scope I used to have had a 300mm mirror. The magnification varied depending on the eye peice I used.

I used it for astro photography and I sold it a few years ago.
I now have a pair of 10-50x100mm binos.

So they have a 100mm lens and a zoom magnification of 10-50.

The thing with astronomy is that there are so many things that you can do, and thus so many peices of equipment to use.

If you want to view deep space objects like star clusters, nebulas, galaxies, ect... then it's best to get a good scope with the biggest mirror you can afford.
But even then you really need to get away from the city lights to get a proper dark sky.

If you just want to see a few million star of the milky way, see some great bright star clusters, the moon or sun (safely of course) then a basic pair of binos will do.
In fact, binos are best for getting really good wide veiw shots of the sky.

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windypops
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

And if I can add. You can use binos for terrestrial viewing as well as the night sky, horizons, wildlife etc. Astronomical scopes are useless for anything but space. Everything appears upside down in the eyepiece.

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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:08 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Thanks very much for the info guys! Sounds as though a good pair of bins is the best starting point. I'd be mainly interested in planets / moon / milky way to begin with. I don't have much storage space and my budget is minimal, although I'd be happy to save up for a decent pair.

Before I hit Google, are there any particular brands you can recommend, or do they do a similar job in comparable price brackets?

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