First Ever ISS Sighting & Star Party at AAAP Monthly Meeting

by Dr. Ken Kremer

April was a great month for overhead viewing of the International Space Station all across the US and in our astronomy club’s hometown of Princeton. Coincidentally, there was an ISS over flight set for the evening of the monthly April AAAP meeting. As always, we needed a fortuitous combination of clear skies and a few free minutes to align during the meeting.

ISS over Princeton, April 10, 2012.  Credit: Ken Kremer

ISS over Princeton, April 10, 2012. Credit: Ken Kremer

Luckily, that evening’s presentation concluded just in time, and the overcast skies of barely two hours earlier totally cleared. So on Tuesday, April 10 well over 50 AAAP astronomers and friends gathered outside the doors of Peyton Hall along Ivy Lane for the first ever ISS viewing star party at an AAAP monthly meeting.

Then all of a sudden at 9:18 p.m., the ISS was there moving slowly and magnificently low in the sky at the end of Ivy Lane. It was a fantastic sight as it shined ever brighter and continued to climb up over the campus and even further above super bright Venus and nearly parallel to Nassau Street at over 30 degree altitude. In my time lapse photograph above, the ISS appears streaking outwards from Orion’s head. We had a really excellent four minutes of continuous viewing. Most of those gathered had never even seen an ISS over flight – much to my surprise. And everyone was thrilled.

In a rare occurrence, there were a few more excellent viewing opportunities that week, including one at the AAAP Friday public night at Washington Crossing State Park.

Check this NASA website link for specific ISS sighting opportunities::
Sighting Opportunities
Read more about ISS sighting in Ken’s Universe Today article here:
Great ISS Sightings – All Nights this Week of April 9

Astronomy Outreach by Ken Kremer
Rittenhouse Astronomical Society (RAS) at the Franklin Institute:Philadelphia, PA, June 13, Wed, 7 PM. “Curiosity Mars landing, DAWN at Asteroid Vesta & GRAIL Lunar Orbiters”

Adirondack Public Observatory – Adirondack State Park: Tupper Lake,NY, July 13 & 14.
“8 Years of Mars Rovers & Search for Life- Mars & Vesta in 3 D”.

Ken Kremer:  Spaceflight magazine & Universe Today
Ken has a selection of his Shuttle photos and Mars mosaics for sale as postcards and frameable prints.

Please contact Ken for more info or science outreach presentations:
Email:   website:

This entry was posted in May 2012, Sidereal Times and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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