Staring into space

A few nights ago someone mentioned that it would be possible to see the International Space Station (ISS) in orbit over London. I made a note to remember to look out for it and then promptly forgot.

The next evening someone posted a reminder on Twitter, and I tore myself away from watching Stevie Wonder at Glastonbury (on the telly) to poke my head out of the window to try to spot it. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I’ve seen satellites before, tiny little dots moving slowly across the sky, would this just be the same thing?

Just as I was beginning to think that perhaps I’d missed it, there it was, shining brightly in the sky and moving across it at a fair old pace too. Wow. Seriously incredible and amazing “wow”.

I had meant to get an early night, suffering as I have been from an inexplicable summer cold (no, it’s NOT hayfever), but I was so thrilled and exhilarated by the sight of the ISS that I came back to my computer to check when I might next be able to see such a sight. It turns out I didn’t have all that long to wait. Around an hour and a half in fact as it was due back above my house at 1.01am.

Once more I hung out of the window, this time I recorded my excitement, just in case I ever have a day when I need to be reminded of how amazing and exciting things really are. Have a listen to my whispered Audioboo:

Listen to my child-like excitement here!

Last night, I decided I’d get organised and set my camera up to try to photograph the ISS on its fly-by. The only flaw in this otherwise impeccable plan was the bit where I forgot to check the exact time of its passing, and ended up in a mad dash to try to catch it. I thought I missed, but somehow managed this:

My first capture of the ISS
My first capture of the ISS

This evening, I tried once more, but at the early passing, (approx 10:43pm) it all seemed rather light out there. This is what I managed, it’s the little white line that I’m getting all over-excited about. There are people living on that you know. Incredible.

ISS appears in the West
ISS appears in the West
ISS and the washing-line
ISS and the washing-line
Off the the East
Off the the East

If you’d like to know when and where to look out for the ISS (and all manner of other goodies) I heartily recommend checking out the website Heavens Above. Just pop in your location and it’ll tell you all you need to know to experience the joy of seeing the ISS for yourself. Give it a go, it really is quite something.

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