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Amateur Astronomers Flash the Space Station with 1W Blue Laser

madmacmo

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Amateur Astronomers Flash the Space Station
Posted March 5, 2012 on UniverseToday.com by Nancy Atkinson

In a highly coordinated and engineered event, the astronomers flashed the two huge searchlights along with a One-Watt Blue Laser at the ISS. [Astronaut] Pettit explained some of the preparations in his blog on Fragile Oasis. “This took a number of engineering calculations, Pettit wrote. “Projected beam diameters (assuming the propagation of a Gaussian wave for the laser) and intensity at the target had to be calculated. Tracking space station’s path as it streaked across the sky was another challenge.”

To everyone’s surprise, Pettit could also see the blue laser. “When the spotlights were off, he said he could still see the blue laser, which was shone steadily,” Little said. “I was pretty surprised that the laser light was that visible from space.”


Little ran the laser and he had three people aiding him by watching for aircraft, “It is an FAA offense to shoot an airplane with a laser, so we certainly wanted to avoid that,” he said.

Hi Res Image
http://www.universetoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Picture-0861.jpg


edited by madmacmo; 03-26-2012 at 10:57 PM
Article posted March 26, 2012
by Jessica Nimon
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA's Johnson Space Center
Beaming Success For Station Fans - Space News - redOrbit

Astronaut Don Pettit takes photographs of the Earth as part of the Crew Earth Observations investigation from aboard the International Space Station. (NASA)
 
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00Giorge

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That's pretty cool! They didn't say what kind of laser it was besides 1W blue.
 

Dave934

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That was wonderful,reminds me of the time that.when we talked to the space station on Amateur radios,we chatted on the two meter band when it passed over at the right moment.
we did not have blue lasers to play with then.Nothing like Amateur radio,lasers, astronomy.
NIce combo:gj:plus it shows really how powerful the blue laser can be.
 
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Wait, I thought the Krypton was the only laser that could penetrate the dark reaches of space!

Nooooo!!!

 
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00Giorge

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I checked their site, couldn't find the 5000mw green. I think I will wait until they come out with the 50,000mw version. :whistle:
 

00Giorge

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I wish that they would have given a little more info on the laser.
If they can see a 1W just think what a 2.4W would look like.
 

ixfd64

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The ISS orbits at over 220 miles above the Earth, which means it is indeed possible to see a laser "hundreds of miles away" in right conditions. I wonder how one watt of green would appear to them? :D
 

DrSid

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Note at 3:22 the narrator states the ISS is at 500 km (310.7 miles) on closest approach . . . so I guess that answers the question that you can see a 1 Watt Blue Laser at least that far away.
Hmmm. . . . I guess a generic 1W Blue beats Wicked Laser's S3 Krapton range of 85 Miles (136.8km) by about 363 km (226 miles) . . . :horse:
That's a question of optics. And we don't know what kind of optics they used on their laser. Beam expander can improve divergence hundred or thousand times. Unless they used common pointer, we don't know how well common pointer would be visible.
 
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Pilgor

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So Wicked was right when they said it can reach into space...... Guess they just got lucky.
 




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