Monday, October 01, 2007

Space Station Double Header Today

The International Space Station (ISS) is putting on a great show for us here on Bonaire today.
This morning at 05:39, it passed right in front of the Moon, as seen from near the Trans World Radio transmitter site.

Tonight, at 18:43, the ISS will pass right in front of Jupiter. It won't be dark here on Bonaire, at 18:43, but Jupiter and the ISS are pretty bright, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to see this.
The place to be to see this event is on the road that goes around the south end of Bonaire, between Red Slave and the Fishing Hut/Kitesailing area. (closer to the fishing hut than red slave) I'll double check the ISS orbital elements this afternoon and try to position myself in the exact right spot. From what I've been able to figure out online and with the SkyMap Pro planetarium software, one has to be within about plus or minus 50 meters of the sweet spot in order for the ISS to appear to "hit" Jupiter.

If you happen to be on Bonaire, look for my white Samurai, and you can help me look for Jupiter in the twilight, and then we'll wait and see if I've nailed the location or not. I'm going to double check the coordinates this afternoon, with the most recent set of ISS orbital elements. As of right now, the place to be is 12.039157 degrees North and 68.263582 degrees West. You can look at it on Google Earth or if you are here on the island, you can try going there following your GPS receiver.

I tried taking a picture of the ISS and moon this am, but in my excitement I must have pushed the remote shutter release button crooked or something and ended up taking the picture just AFTER the ISS passed the moon. grrrrrrr I had fired off a few test shots before hand and the camera triggered quite promptly then. Here is what the moon looked like this am, well.... other than the fact that this picture is upside down! It's 1024x768 so you can use it as desktop wallpaper. I'll probably make it right side up and play with it some more before it ends up on my desktop however.

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