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!

Neil Armstrong

Back in July 1969 I set up my cheap Russian SLR in front of my parents’ black & white TV and photographed a fuzzy image of Neil Armstrong descending the ladder of Apollo 11’s Lunar Module. This was the only way I could capture the moment for myself. Cutting out pictures from the next day’s newspaper simply wasn’t good enough for the fledgling geek. Those 35mm Ektachrome slides are buried somewhere in my loft but the memory remains. From Apollo 8, I had followed the mission to land a man on the moon (and return him safely to earth) and to my schoolboy eyes, those first steps were the absolute pinnacle.

Thank you for the memory, Neil Armstrong. Good job.