ISS Pass – October 07th

Probably the last ISS pass for this current group. There’s one more on Sunday night over SoCal, but it’s much lower to the horizon and dimmer, barely getting up out of the coastal haze and atmospheric schmutz.

Tonight however was pretty good. Unlike the previous passes which I’ve shown this week, which went from northwest almost straight up through the zenith and toward the southeast, this one was much “flatter,” going from the northwest to the south and staying much closer to the western horizon.

(As always, click on the photo to see it full sized!)

That, unfortunately, puts us down into the realm of street lights (upper left) and 737s heading into Burbank. It was also early enough after sunset so the sky wasn’t terribly dark. The ISS track starts at the horizon just to the right of that stand of tall palm trees and goes up to the upper left, above the telephone pole.

But look in the upper center, just to the right of the 737 track and to the left of that brightly lit power cable overhead. See that horizontal streak of five segments? That’s got to be something going overhead in a north-south orbit. And given the way it just appears and then disappears, I’m guessing it’s an Iridium satellite where you get brief “flares” off of their huge solar panels. But that’s a guess.

As soon as the ISS disappeared out of the frame and into the glare of the street light, I took a quick sprint down the block and set up again.

My concern here was keeping the frame aimed high enough to avoid the worst of the glare from the next street light. In retrospect, next time I’ll aim lower and pick up the lights of Woodland Hills and Calabasas and just deal with the street light.

The ISS disappeared off to the south, headed down the coast of Baja, to South America, the South Atlantic, then back up toward Africa, the Middle East, and China.

No secret, unexpected, flaring Iridium satellites in this picture – just lots of traffic into LAX. Welcome to my world!

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