The International Space Station passed over London tonight. Yes, it passes over regularly but it can only be seen (easily) when it reflects the sun. Using the website Heavens-Above you’re able to perform these predictions with ease.
It was predicted to pass over at 5:45pm UTC with a magnitude of -1.9. This magnitude puts it brighter than the brightest star Sirius which clocks in at around -1.46 (A few notes about the Magnitude system are at the bottom of this post).
I only managed to get one photo during the time it appeared from the cloud and before it went out of the view of my balcony.
If you want to know a little more about the magnitude system, here are a few facts:
- Lower (and into -ve) values are brighter
- Higher values are dimmer
- A difference of 5 units is 100 times brighter
- A difference of 1 unit is 2.51 times brigther (5th root of 100)
- A full moon gets to about -12.6
- The sun on a clear day is about -26.7
- Good binoculars can make out +9
- The Hubble space telescope can make out +30
- Click here for Wikipedia’s Article