Saturday, June 09, 2007

Watch the skies

Last night, around eleven o' clock, the old man rang me to tell me to look up.

He saw on the news that the International Space Station was due to pass over Ireland. He was laughing because the astronomer on RTÉ said that the space station would go from left to right.

So, out I went into the garden and kept an eye out because though I knew the time, I'd no idea where it would be coming from. Then, just on cue, she flew across the sky at an amazing speed, travelling west to east (by the way, since I was facing south, that's right to left). Half way across the transit, Daddy called me from where he's standing on the flat roof at home and we watched it disappear together.


NASA sent up a shuttle last night to the station, liftoff 00:30 our time. It too was expected to fly over Ireland. Daddy said that we would see the booster falling twenty minutes into the launch - 00:50. I, being all-knowing re the Space Shuttle, corrected him - the booster would disengage well before 00:50.

So back out into the garden and I stood watching the heavens again from about 00:30. A couple of minutes later, I saw a shooting star. Around, 00:43, I saw something moving against the stars, very faint, heading almost directly south. I thought that was it but the direction was confusing. So I kept watching and lo and behold, bang on 00:50, there it was, not as bright but travelling in the same direction as the station. I laughed out loud, don't know why.


An hour later, Daddy rings me again. He asked me if I saw the shuttle just now. I said I saw it at exactly 00:50. He said that he gave up looking for it and went to bed. He just looked out his bedroom window before turning in and he saw it, travelling in the same direction as the station. But this was an hour later.

I don't know which of us saw the shuttle. The other things were satellites or secret military shuttles or aliens, I don't know but there sure was a lot going on in the skies last night.


Jim said...

Damn, I miss the stars. Not much chance of seeing them in New York City, unless you're talking about the ones those tabloid papers get all worked up about. I'd rather be light years from many of them.

John The Bad said...

Jim, get involved in the Manhattan Planetarium. They do star trips out of the city.