International Space Station in 2000

27 Dec 2000 (by Julian Taylor)

After several days of cloudy evenings I was finally rewarded with a beautiful evening after well-needed post Christmas walk with family on snow covered Dartmoor. On driving back towards Exeter I first saw an extremely slender crescent moon (47 hours old) low in the western twilight, and Venus much higher up.

As 5.30 approached I managed to find a layby near Longdown, about 3 miles west of Exeter, in which to park the car and climbed some steps at the bottom of someone's garden path for a better view to the south. By this time the sky was completely dark - the moon had long gone but Venus was still very bright.

At about 5.39 I caught sight of the ISS moving slowly upwards from the NNW direction, looking about as bright as a magnitude 0 star. As it approached it grew brighter and culminated at an elevation of about 40 degrees in the SW. It reached a maximum brightness of about -1 and seemed to have a slight orange or pink colour. As it moved on in a SE direction so it declined in elevation and brightness and eventually disappeared into the murk at about 10 degrees at about 5.44pm.

I was pleased to have caught this view of the ISS when I got the chance. Although the following 2 nights were also clear, on the 28th the sky was still too light when it arrived (although it would probably have been visible in binoculars), and on the 29th I was in Oxfordshire, too far north.


ISS Gallery Next Year

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