Friday, 23 May 2008

Around the World in 90 Minutes

Tonight, the International Space Station was scheduled to pass directly over the Toronto area at precisely 9:55p.m.
At 9:50p.m. we were out in the back yard, craning our necks to look up into the night sky, not knowing what to expect. There were a few high clouds, but most of the sky was clear.
"What's that?"
False alarm... a V of Canada geese flew overhead, their white bellies lit up by the lights on Main Street.
Then I spotted it..... a bright light, bigger and brighter than any of the stars, high up, moving rapidly across the sky from west to east.

It didn't look quite like this. Not from where I was standing.
But there it was, carrying it's complement of three astronaut scientists, travelling at 27,700 km per hour, 350 km above my back yard!
And it circles the earth precisely 15.77 times each day. We stood and watched until it disappeared behind the trees.

We live in astonishing times.

18 comments:

Your EG Tour Guide said...

Good for you for going outdoors to watch the station pass over! My brain was in a fog and I didn't even remember to look. Hmmm.

We DO live in astonishing times. But the most amazing thing to me is to realize that in fifty years it'll be so "backward." For example, the Wright Brothers' plane was incredible and now we think nothing of boarding a jet to Europe.

CanadianSwiss said...

It is amazing how in the past let's say, 100 years, technology has developped at such an incredible speed. Buy the newest computer today, and a week later, the next, better, faster, more efficient model pops up. *sigh* How to keep up ;)

BTW, I loved reading about your walks with Tessa.Dale is working on a post and I hope that he can put it up this weekend... Uhm... Tessa really chews flower pots??

Ex-Shammickite said...

Yes CS, she really chews flowerpots! And eats my best yellow tulips!

photowannabe said...

Don't we live in amazing times? I read all about these things but its hard to believe so much is going on right above our heads.
Excellent post .

Luke said...

nice post!

TorAa said...

hi, I would have liked to comment properly, but, sorry, there is sorrow in my mind:
http://toraa.blogspot.com/2008/05/ruben-jan-29-1968-may-18-2008.html

daffy said...

Wow! Well it may not have looked like that but at least you saw it! You can't change that, it's history now. :o)

dabrah said...

How amazing that you could see it!

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm sorry to have to tell you that today was the last day of the Chelsea Flower Show. I went into London for the Mind Body and Spirit Festival (saw the Barefoot Doctor) and on the way back the tubes and train were full of people carrying plants and other bits and bobs that were sold of at the Flower Show because it's the last day. If you're still in the UK after June 11th, the Gardener's World Live is on for 5 days at the NEC in Birmingham. Check out http://www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com/bbcgwl/show_link1.asp

Hilary said...

Wow.. I wish I'd known that. Call me next time, willya? ;)

Beverly said...

Yes, amazing times. I so enjoyed your Travels with Tessa. I know you must be glad that she's back with her owners.

Thanks for stopping by. I've been stopping by here, but not commenting lately. I've got to get with the program again.

Dogbait said...

Soon there will be a movie about this space station leading a flock of Canada geese south for winter!

Ginnie said...

WOW! That's pretty exciting, Ex-S. Too bad Callum isn't old enough to remember it!

Old Wom Tigley said...

I have seen this one and other stuff lighting up the night skies. It is always a wonder.

Grand Life said...

That is so cool that you could see it. The eclipse last February was on our anniversary so that was our gift to each other but there was a cloud cover- drat. Technology is getting so fast that I figure I have one more update on certain things and no more on other things. What was wrong with cassette tapes and VHS. I do love my cell phone though. Have a great week.
Judy

Peter said...

Fascinating... but personally I believe I prefer to "travel with Tessa" rather than with the space lab!

Craver Vii said...

I remember the first time I saw a satellite crossing the night sky, but I had no idea how fast they soar!

Xtreme English said...

I think you live in a swell place! you seem to have it all: trees, flowers, visiting puppies and grandbaby, catalpa trees sprouting in the gunk in your gutters, stars and astronauts overhead.....

Nabeel said...

that is soo cool, i love such gatherings where we have to look up to the skies. So excited about Pheonix landers on Mars. Sadly, we can't even go to the next star cluster in the milky way.