Help, my ISS alerts are off!

Update:

I just updated the site to use our own data. That means you should see the correct times on your personal page again!

Later today (June 24) I will migrate the alerts to the new system as well. It's exciting and scary at the same time, but from the tests it looks we're allright. If you see times that are off, please let me know through @twisst or @tjaap.

 

Original post:

We are experiencing problems with the times we are reporting. The alerts we send to some users are off by 10 to 30 minutes.

A lot of our followers are not affected and do get the right information. That's why we decided not to suspend sending the alerts altogether. Instead, we are working on a solution which will prevent this sort of thing from happening.

Photo: Flickr / kenobiwanxThere are two causes for these inaccuracies. It started when ISS made a big jump in altitude this week (read more about that here). The change in the space stations orbit resulted in different times when it is visible at your location.

That would not really have been a problem, if our source for the passes information, heavens-above.com, would be available like normal. Unfortunately, their website has been swamped with requests. Our automated system has sometimes been unable to fetch new information from them, which leaves us with old or no information at all for some users.

Fortunately, we have a solution. We have been working on our own software to generate satellite predictions. Heavens Above is a wonderful source, but it will be great to be our own source of passes information. It opens many new possibilities - I will tell you more about that soon. One advantage is that we will be able to give you information faster and more reliable.

We will be testing and implementing our new system this weekend and in the coming week. In the mean time, you may want to check Heavens-above.com or the NASA website to see if we have the right times for you. My apologies for the confusion.

- Jaap (@tjaap)

 

P.S. If you want to help us, you can by signing up as a test user. Just tell @twisst and we will send you alerts from our new system.

 

Photo: Flickr / kenobiwanx

Comments

No problem - if you want the alerts to stop, just unfollow @twisst.

Hi! I'm sorry to have to unsubscribe for a while. What do I do to not receive Tweets

hey it was only 7 mins late for me! I dont mind that at all :)
i will b looking out tonight so hopefully the sky will stay clear for me :)

That's very nice of you Catherine, thanks!

I just wanted to say that @twisst is one of the greatest things on Twitter! You are always excused from any occasional glitch that might pop up. Thanks for the service!