Archive for Thursday, April 29, 2010

International Space Station to fly over next three nights

Photo of the International Space Station taken last year in Sedona, Ariz., by atbaker / CC BY 2.0.

Photo of the International Space Station taken last year in Sedona, Ariz., by atbaker / CC BY 2.0.

April 29, 2010


If you happened to be outside last night at 9:20, odds are your eye was caught by an unusually bright, slow moving object in the south-western sky.

It was clearly not a plane, and much larger than a common satellite. It was the International Space Station.

If you missed it, you're in luck. It will pass over the Lawrence area three more times before its orbit takes it out of our night sky.

Here's when and where to look:

April 29

Rise time: 9:44:37 p.m.
Direction to look: West/south-west
Transit time: 9:46:58 p.m.
Maximum elevation: 41°
Brightness: Very bright (-3.0)

April 30

Rise time: 8:34:33 p.m.
Direction to look: South/south-west
Transit time: 8:36:58 p.m.
Maximum elevation: 57°
Brightness: Very bright (-3.6)

May 1

Rise time: 8:59:54 p.m.
Direction to look: West
Transit time: 9:02:13 p.m.
Maximum elevation: 38°
Brightness: Very bright (-2.8)

This tracking information for the International Space Station (ISS) — as well as for many other man-made orbiting objects — is always available for any zip code at Pretty cool, huh?

Thanks for the tip, Shelby!

Excellent viewing spots

The roof of The Oread hotel

The Clinton Lake dam

View Larger Map


Boston_Corbett 7 years, 10 months ago

If you have never watched this, you are missing out on quite a treat. I've watched several times. When the space shuttle is docked to the ISS, you can definitely see with the naked eye it is not a star, because of its irregular share.

I've gone to the Lied Center parking lot to watch, and despite the lighting, you can easily see the space station. Not having trees to block the approach is a big plus.

RoeDapple 7 years, 10 months ago

Out in the country, away from the city lights, you almost feel if you waved they would wave back.

jfcm77 7 years, 10 months ago

Also, you almost feel if you mooned them, they would moon you back.

Dan Edwards 7 years, 10 months ago

The best time to look at the ISS (assuming it passes over your locale at the time) is a day or twp prior to a shuttle docking and after it undocks. On those passes you will see two "stars" a short distance apart moving at the same speed across the sky.

Space Shuttle Atlantis is set to make its final launch on or around May 14th, so hopefully there will be an opportunity to view it in the sky shortly thereafter. Otherwise the next chances are September for Space Shuttle Discovery and November for Endeavour.

Viewing this for yourself is well worth your time--now let's hope for clear skies the next three nights so we can see it!

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