Normally as the ISS passes over it's apparent brightness follows a typical pattern. As it climbs above the horizon it brightens, reaches a constant brightness, then as it passes behing you fades as it goes into the earths shadow.
Currently the ISS is docked with the shuttle and the astronauts have been retracting and unfurling a couple of new solar panels, as they retract and unfurl, which is a relatively slow process bits of them can catch the light - this is the 'flaring' that is visible.
Well folks, it's July 20th which means ISS has returned to our skies here in the UK again
Passes are visible in the very early hours of the morning at the moment but they are getting progressively earlier - being visible in the evening in August
www.heavens-above.com is giving out a magnitude if -2.6 for some of the passes which would tie in with the extra trusses. There's also a new feature on their website which plots ISS path on a star chart - I think this will be excellent for those that are uncertain of where the ISS is in the sky. Personally I think I will use it to help plan framing pickies with ISS and deep sky objects
Finally just got my first view of ISS in what seems like monthes... It just steamed past Jupiter in the sothern twilight sky. No pics i'm afraid - however I go on my hols to darker skies at the end of the week in persuit of the Perseids, place we go to has a lovely low horizon all round so expect some pickies then
Ok peeps, if you've been watching the news you'll have seen the Shuttle Endeavour is about to (hopefully) blast off today enroute to the ISS.
Usual suppy mission - its taking some equipment etc up there including some more Trusses and taking some rubbish and redundant kit back...
Well, what does that mean to us? Well it wont be long till the Shuttle is docked with ISS and when it does you should find ISS brighter than predictions. As they unfurl the solar panels you may find that the Shuttle/ISS combination 'flares' as it goes over. From the UK and for that matter most of Europe the pairing is conveniently visible in the evening twilight. Exact timings will depend on your exact location, however I personally find www.heavens-above.com the best place to find out when you can see them - all you need to do is log on and set your location.
I hope to have some pickies I can share with you all shortly of this, but in the mean time I bid you all clear skies
I seen the ISS pass over tonight at 22.07, seems like it's been months since I last saw it lol as it's been so cloudy all the time. The skies seem to be getting alot clearer at night now tho, so I'll hopefully catch the passes over the next couple of nights. I'll also be looking out for some perseids later on if the clouds stay away.
Please don't interupt me when I'm talking to myself!