Science Friday: An astronaut answers Seattle librarians’ question from the International Space Station

by Linda J.

We made a little video and sent it into outer space, asking astronaut Reid Wiseman, currently living and working on the International Space Station, to talk about a book that changed his view of the world. His thoughtful answer shows the power of imagination and what reading means in his life. Take a look!

I must say that it is pure pleasure to work at a place like Seattle Public Library where, on a Sunday morning, you can say to three of your librarian coworkers: “Hey, do you guys want to make a video with me and send it to the International Space Station?” And then your three coworkers/friends jump up and say “Of course!” before they even ask any questions about it. David Wright is on the left, asking the question; then it’s Josie Watanabe, Linda Johns (me) and Hayden Bass. We took two minutes on a Sunday morning before the library opened to record this on my phone (special thanks to Abraham, who took a break from shelving books to film this) and send it on its way.  I love my librarian friends. And you know what else I love? The International Space Station. I’ve spent countless evenings on my back deck watching it soar over Seattle (yes, it’s visible!). I’ve signed up for alerts on my phone that tell me what time it will pass over, which direction to look, and how bright it will be. You can also check online at Spot the Station and sign up for alerts there.

There are several opportunities to see the ISS fly by Seattle the next few days — if the sky clears a bit. Tonight (Friday, October 17) at 7:01 p.m. (look west, 40.8 degrees max elevation, very bright) and 8:36:24 p.m. (look WNW, 32.8 degrees max elevation; very bright); and actually it’s not looking that promising for tonight. Next chance: Saturday, October 18, 7:52:26 p.m. (look WNW, 46.3 degrees max elevation, super bright).

Here’s hoping for clear skies!

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