Viewing the ISS

Occasionally we get phone calls. People have an astronomy question and decide to call an observatory to get an answer. I would caution that this is generally not the best way to get an answer, Googling the question or looking it up on Wikipedia is much more likely to result in a usable answer. Usually our front desk will politely defer the caller to some other source, Shelly is very good at doing this.

The International Space Station and the docked space shuttle Endeavour
The International Space Station and the docked space shuttle Endeavour

Shelly is also a very nice lady who occasionally takes pity on some caller. Or the caller is very polite and asks very nicely. Often she forwards the call to me, knowing that I can usually answer these sort of questions.

What sort of telescope can be used to view the ISS?

At least the question did not involve aliens or NASA cover-ups, those question would have gotten the polite brush off from Shelly.

For someone who is inexperienced in using telescopes this not the easy place to start. Most of us who have been using telescopes for decades usually do not even try to do this. The space station is quite small and would require higher magnification to see well. It is also moving quite quickly across the sky. The combination of these two factors makes viewing the ISS a real challenge, to put it politely!

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Space and Astronomy at the Kona Library

Planets, Stars, and How to Live on a Space Station

May 23rd Astronomy Program
Kailua Kona Library
3:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Allan Honey, a program engineer at Keck Observatory, will talk about the different distances in space between stars and planets. Allan’s son, Ben Honey, a flight controller for the International Space Station at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, will explain what happens when astronauts live and work in space. Allan Honey has worked at the Keck Observatory for more than 26 years, and Ben Honey grew up on the Big Island before leaving to study at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University