Since it looks like the skies will be clear here in West Michigan, it’s a perfect opportunity to not only look at the night sky, but see a great flyover by the International Space Station.
If you are interested, step outside just after 9.00pm and look to the West-Northwest. At 9.08pm the station will rise and slowly (sort of) traverse the evening sky, going high overhead, and then disappearing in the Northeastern sky over six minutes later.
Because of it’s location overhead, and the time of day, ISS will be the brightest thing in the night sky, easily outshining all of the stars overhead. At it’s highest point – 72 degrees – the station will be half-way across the sky. Finally, before it disappears, it will pass just below the Big Dipper.
The link to the right will take you to a site with predictions for the ISS, space shuttle, and other satellites as they travel overhead. You can see just when a certain object will be in view.
Over the next few weeks, we will have many opportunities to see the space station in the evening sky. Some will not be as spectacular as tonight’s will, but then again, there are a few that will be better.
And as an added treat, there is something following the space station. You will notice about three minutes later a slightly dimmer point of light following in the ISS path. The is the Jules Verne ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle), a new supply ship on its maiden voyage to the space station.
So if you can, go outside, look up, and wave as the station (and its crew) fly overhead. They won’t see you, but will appreciate the interest.