Spotted the ISS

Thanks to a tweet from Jef Poskanzer I caught an excellent pass of the ISS overhead. All the way from the SW to the NE, 74° max altitude, brightness -3.4. If I hadn’t known to look, I would have assumed it was a plane. But no; too fast, too far overhead, too straight, no navigation lights. Really bright and interesting colours, particularly at the horizons. Not much different a view in the binoculars, I wonder what magnification you need to make out detail?

I used Heavens Above to find the rough area, then Stellarium to confirm exactly where it was going to pass. Just had to guess by compass directions, didn’t have time to find constellations, etc. But that bright it wasn’t exactly hard to find.

I love watching artificial satellites, fun stuff. “It’s a sky blue sky, satellites are out tonight”.