Kewl Site Alert: ISS Visibility Chart Lets You Stalk Cmdr Hadfield from Your Own Home

Let's say you've been following the prolific Twitter updates of Canada's own rockstar astronaut Cmdr. Hadfield, with all his photos and comments and interactions from the International Space Station. Personally, I love seeing his pics: he has quite the eye for photography and often tweets out stunning images. But the best ones are of the small, lesser known cities and towns across Canada. He's teaching a global geography lesson, essentially. And he's got a half million students. Just awesome.

I'm not sure how he fits it in, but Hadfield is quite active throughout the day on Twitter, even responding to questions posed back here on Earth. It's hard not to get a little star struck when you see him responding to us grounded Twitter folk. In fact, it seems like a bit of a sport with people, tweeting in hopes of getting RT's or *gasp* an actual response. So here's an idea: what if you could take a picture of him orbiting right over your house to send back to him in an entirely not-at-all stalkerish fanboy kind of way:
@cmdr_Hadfield here's you looking at me looking at you! *gasp*
Well, you know what?
There's an app for that.
Kind of.

The ISS AstroViewer is a handy little web app that lets you pop in your location, and presents you with the next few times you will be able to see the ISS pass over your home within the next 10 days. It indicates not only the time, but the duration and brightness so that you can choose the most optimal viewing opportunity for that special moment between you and the Commander.

The site also has a stalker tracker widget that allows you to keep an eye on the Commander's orbit over the earth and if you really want to stalk track him all day long, you can grab the code to embed it on your website or blog.

The AstroViewer homepage also features a live feed from the ISS that shows what they see at this very moment. So you can watch them watching you while they pass over your house! (Well, ok, it's an onboard camera, but you get the picture.)

Apps like AstroViewer utilize data that is open and available from a variety of sources (from NASA to Google) to make keeping tabs on your idol that much easier. Remember when astronauts used to go to space and do random stuff and we would watch them take off, but that was about it? Yeah, I think NASA's PR machine is completely out of control with all the ways we can interact with rockstar astronauts and really feel like we are invested in their missions.

So go ahead, plan your photo opp with the Commander. Of course, it might mean you getting up ridiculously early, depending on where you live: he'll be zooming over our house between 5:40 and 6:40 on various days so I think I'll stay indoors and try to catch him from the window... or maybe I'll stay in bed and catch him on the Twitter later...

Viewing chart from AstroViewer
(Source: Geeks Are Sexy) (yes we are)

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