ISS observation / question

From: Paul (
Date: Sun Jan 28 2007 - 05:33:56 EST

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    Hi all,
    I have just observed an extremely bright flyover by the ISS from Canberra,
    Australia (60 degrees and 415km according to The station
    seemed much brighter than the -0.6 forecast by that site.
    I happened to be outside to look for Comet McNaught with my binoculars and
    pointed them at the station out of curiosity. A couple of things came to
    Firstly, there seemed to be a obvious colour (can't remember now which one!)
    which is new. I assume that is the new solar panels. I seemed to have had
    very poor viewing conditions since the new panels where added and this has
    been the best pass I have had with very clear skies. 
    The second thing which surprised me was that I noticed a very short thin
    line of light extend from each side of the station. These lines keep the
    same orientation as the station passed overhead and did not disappear when I
    refocused the binoculars (just to check!).
    My question is - is it possible using binoculars to seeing the station as an
    very slightly elongated shape? The binoculars are labelled 'Gerber Sport',
    10 by 50 with 288 ft at 1000 yds. 
    Paul Floyd.
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