Monday, 28 September 2009

Geek Points

Heavenly Bodies

It was just getting dark when we arrived home after an evening out, earlier this summer. As I turned to retrieve my jacket from the car seat, Linda looked up at the night sky, then said "Wow, look at that!"

Years ago, I showed her how to spot satellites in the clear night sky. We still do that sometimes, whenever we get away somewhere with good clean air. The sky over Skye, for example. But this satellite was quite unusual. It was far brighter than any we'd seen before, and moving fast.

"Ah, well that's the International Space Station," I remembered from reading an article earlier that week. "It's a lot brighter than usual, because space shuttle Endeavour is docked onto it right now. Wish we had the binoculars, you would actually see it hanging down from the station."


We watched it speed across the night, until it disappeared behind Earth's shadow, setting in the east. "Let's get the kettle on," I said, wide grinning as my geek credentials earned me yet another big hug.

Note: the photograph below shows Endeavour docked to the ISS, with the sun in the background. But I don't remember the sun being there that night.

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