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ISS spotting

Had a great view of the ISS and shuttle from up at kendal Castle earlier, hope some of you saw it too! If you go to the “Space station” section of this blog you’ll find a table of ISS times for the next 10 days, or you can just click here…


Oppy scoots a little further around Block Island…

The Mars Exploration Rover “Opportunity” – which recently celebrated 2000 sols, or martian days, of roving on Mars – is now slowly but surely trundling past and around the huge meteorite dubbed “Block Island”. Today new pictures came down showing the previously-unseen “far side” of the meteorite. Here are a few images I made from them…



Hmmm…. the rear of Block Island seems a lot less pock-marked and eroded than the side we’ve been looking at until now… why? Well, that’s for those clever people at JPL, NASA and science centres around the world to figure out! 🙂

And if you’re wondering how big that meteorite actually is – I know it’s hard to judge just from the pictures – then say a big “Thank you” to my fellow UMSFer Mike Howard, who said I can post this excellent pic from his brilliant Midnight Mars Browser program, showing Block Island and the rover side by side…


See the space station AND space shuttle tonight!


These times were only accurate for the day this post was written, which was yesterday, Wednesday. At the end of this post you’ll be told how to find out when and where you can see the space station from now on. Thanks!
Tonight Cumbrian skywatchers (and actually skywatchers all across the UK!) will have a fantastic and very rare opportunity to see two spaceships flying through the night sky! No, not UFOs, we’re not about to be invaded by Little Green Men! Tonight we can see the huge INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION, and the space shuttle DISCOVERY, flying together through the sky.
And not just once – but twice!
Seeing them is easy: all you have to do is go outside at either 8.30pm or 10.05pm, look to the west – and wait. After a few minutes you’ll see a pair of “stars” rising up from the horizon, close together, one very bright, one a lot fainter. The brighter one is the space station, the fainter one is the space shuttle. The pair will then move across the sky from right to left, from west to east.
NO TELESCOPE is needed to see this, not even binoculars, it’s a purely naked eye event. Binoculars will help you see the two spacecraft more clearly, but you don’t need them.
This is a very rare opportunity to see something very special in the night sky, and with a good weather forecast for tonight hopefully lots of people will get to see it…
… and tomorrow I can *guarantee* that there will be lots of reports of UFOs crossing the sky above Cumbria! But the truth is even more amazing – people will have seen not flying saucers built by aliens, but real spaceships built, and flown, by human beings, just like them. 🙂
UPDATE: I’m absolutely delighted so many people are coming here, but I can’t answer every “When can I see it next?” query or comment. Because I’ve had so many comments and emails asking for advice on how to see the International Space Station in the sky, I’ve updated this blog’s  “Space Station” page, turning it into a “Beginner’s Guide” to space station spotting.  You can go there by clicking on the “Space Station” tab at the top there, or by clicking on the direct link below…https://cumbriansky.wordpress.com/space-station-spotting