Thanks to a Twisst alert I saw last night in my Twitter replies on Hootsuite for iPad, my girls and I saw the International Space Station fly over central Oklahoma early this morning.

Twisst Alert for an ISS Flyby over Oklahoma City

I’ve highlighted the pass we saw in this screenshot of the NASA Human Spaceflight Live Tracking site, taken about 30 minutes after the flyby.

Human Space Flight (HSF) - Orbital Tracking

Our dog coincidentally woke me up this morning just after 5 am. I used the Camera Genius iPhone app to snap this photo with the location / date / time included. I got up a little early to try and configure my iPhone to capture a light trail of the ISS flyby.

Early morning wakeup

None of my iPhone camera apps had a “bulb” or slow shutter speed setting which I could use with my tripod. Thanks to this discussion post in the Flickr iPhoneography group, I learned about the iPhone camera app “Slow Shutter Cam.” (It’s on sale for 99¢ today.)

Slow Shutter Cam app for iPhone

A few weeks ago I ordered a Glif tripod mount for my iPhone4, and figured this would be a good chance to give it a try. I got everything to work, but the 15 second exposure time I used proved too short to capture a satellite fly over.

Attempted star trail photo of the ISS flyby

My 7 year old daughter was the first to spot the ISS flying over, on the eastern horizon. It should have come into view at 5:26 am, but because of light pollution from the Oklahoma City metro area we didn’t see it till its last 30 seconds of visibility. Our Twisst post indicated it would be visible for just 2 minutes. Things go by pretty fast when you’re flying over the planet at 17,000 miles per hour! Despite the fact we did not capture this exciting, early-morning moment on camera, this was a VERY memorable and worthwhile experience I’m sure my girls won’t forget soon.

I asked Rachel to record a short audio summary of our ISS sighting this morning using AudioBoo. She recorded it later in the morning, after getting a bit more sleep after our early get-up!

We saw the International Space Station (mp3)

To receive your own Twitter alerts when the International Space Station passes over YOUR location on our planet:

  • Make sure your Twitter profile location is correct for the city / state / country where you want to view the ISS.
  • Follow Twisst ISS alerts @twisst on Twitter

For additional space / astronaut / NASA related inspiration, follow my Astronaut list on Twitter. This photo of the Space Shuttle Atlantis streaking toward home and a safe landing was taken from the ISS (and posted to TwitPic) by astronaut Mike Fossum. Mike is a fellow Eagle Scout currently aboard ISS.

Hope you enjoy pict I captured this morning from ISS of Atlan... on Twitpic

Mike also took this photo of Atlantis just before undocking and shared it on Twitpic.

Space Shuttle Atlantis during night pass last night - before ... on Twitpic

He reported via Twitter the following is the most amazing photo he’s ever taken: It’s of the space shuttle Atlantis, the ISS, and an aurora over the earth all in the same frame. Amazing!

This is best picture I've ever taken. Atlantis and auror... on Twitpic

If you don’t think stuff like this is cool, we need to get you to a doctor FAST to check for a heartbeat. Technologies like digital cameras, Twitter and orbital trackers in the hands of astronauts and scientists empower some REALLY amazing experiences playing with media!

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Made with Love in Oklahoma City