So Karen and I went out to watch the International Space Station skim our southern horizon and slide beneath the Moon Friday night (this passes for "Date Night" around our house; I'll bet there's some ladies out there right now wondering how they ever let me get away). I took a lousy movie of it:
(If you're having a hard time seeing a tiny point of light in a tiny digital window, take a look at the larger version on YouTube.)
I'm actually surprised and happy with how this turned out. First, I shot it with a simple little digital point-and-shoot in video mode, nothing sophisticated. Second, I did a dry run with a different camera (a Flip) during a very short ISS pass last night that failed utterly. Third, it wasn't long after sunset and the sky was still quite bright and hazy; I wasn't sure we'd see anything. All things considered, I'm very pleased.
The ISS didn't really look much different from an airplane, and you kind of have to think about what you're looking at for the impact to hit you. There are people on that thing. In space. People in space. 200 miles high. In space. In the five minutes it took me to walk home after shooting this, they'd already traveled halfway across North America. So: impressive!
As I mentioned before, the website Heavens Above can give you a list of all the times the ISS is visible from your house for the next 10 days. I think it's worthwhile to take 5 minutes to go outside, look up, and marvel.