Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Twinkle Twinkle Li'll Star

The other day... well... night, exactly.... I was on roof-top for couple of hours. It was a clear sky and relatively slow breeze. I chanced to see several fast moving objects in the sky. They were specks of light just like stars. But were moving very steadily and very, very rapidly. The altitude (they were just a speck) and the speed of movement ruled them out to be air-planes. Neither were they shooting stars.

For a moment, the movie buff in me had a adrenalin rush thinking that I have spotted several UFOs. Yeah, I wish!! On a less romantic/adventurous note, I realised that I was seeing the movement of several low-orbit satellites.

I was witnessing this for the first time. And this made me think whether Hubble Space Telescope, Mir and International Space Station are also visible by naked eye. If they do, they will appear brighter and slower.

Found these links:-
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970414f.html
http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/970505h.html

Try seeing this event. Its fun!!!

1 comment:

JD said...

Both the ISS and Hubble can be seen with the naked eye; however...

Hubble is too small to be recognized as such. It will look like any other satellite orbiting the earth. As for space stations, I once saw the space shuttle docked to Mir. It was quite bright and larger than the average satellite and, thus, more recognizable as such.