Look up !

Tonight I watched the International Space Station fly over. I’ve seen it several times over the last few nights. Even though I’m only viewing it with the naked eye (my binoculars are pretty hopeless for viewing space objects) it’s still an amazing sight.

Tonight I also had a sighting of the European Space Agency’s “Albert Einstein” Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-4) cargo ship as it continues its 10-day journey to hook up with ISS. I thought the ISS was quick but that ATV is something else as it chases ISS across the sky!

Wow and Wow!

If you haven’t seen ISS yourself, go here: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/ and enter your nearest location for a list of sighting opportunities.

Oh, and follow @VirtualAstro  on Twitter for live alerts of up-coming sightings!

Flypast for a Hero

Today I was in our Old Town High Street and witnessed the moment when an RAF Tornado flew along the street at rooftop height, afterburners blazing. At the end of his run he pulled up and banked to the right in a salute. This was no ordinary occurrence. Today, family and friends said goodbye for the last time to SAC Ryan Tomlin, RAF Regiment. This brave lad made the ultimate sacrifice, doing what he loved and serving his Country in the shit-hole we know as Afghanistan.

Unlike my daughter who was stood next to me, I did not know Ryan personally. I was in the High Street simply to pay my deepest respects to a local hero. His Royal Air Force comrades did him proud and gave him the send-off he deserved.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.”


I was out geocaching today, at Ashley Green, Bucks. As I was walking across an open field a C130 flew over at treetop height. This was closely followed by another and, as I quickly got out my iPhone to grab a video, I realised I could hear the unmistakable music of Merlin engines. Within seconds, the RAF’s Battle of Britain Memorial Flight appeared over the treetops! Awesome!

Whenever I see and hear one of these aircraft, especially The Lady herself, I get shivers down my spine. Bloody marvellous!

For the technically minded, the flight comprised the Lancaster, a Hurricane and a Spitfire. I managed to grab a short video.