ISS as seen from an Aircraft



Question to airline pilots; I assume some must have seen the Space Station from an aircraft flying at high altitude. Appreciate also the ISS is still around 200+ miles higher but just wondering if the view is more impressive being above the light pollution.




Thank you for that, very impressed.



To the naked eye, the Space Station looks like a big white dot that moves quickly across the sky without changing direction, unlike aircraft, for example. It is usually the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon—bright enough to be seen in urban areas even through all the light pollution. For the greatest cone density recorded of 324,100 cones/mm² in human retina [1]. we get an acuity (or row-to-row spacing we need to discern at least two individual features) of 86.3 cycles/°. So for our best case, KissAnime with a great eye, neglecting any atmospheric effects, the ISS closest from the ground (perigee), and panda helper optimal contrast with the background, we get minimum separation of objects of 74.83 m. If there was no air between the observer and the station! Thanks and Regards, Alex Parkar


Thank you for input.

Light pollution has a lot to answer for, how many City dwellers are aware of the beauty of the night sky?



During the leadup to the 2017 Total Eclipse of the Sun there were a gazillion cameras and telescopes pointing at the sun. Most had effective filters.

The ISS transitted the sun and here is some video

and here is a composite photo

Here is what happens when the lens is not effectively filtered

Unfortunately, that gives a clue to what happens to the naked eye.