The International Space Station will be an EXTRA special treat for all of us in Southern California over the next several days. We will have some truly spectacular “fly-overs” for some of the brightest passes theoretically possible (the brightness is determined by how the space station – and particularly their football-pitch sized solar panels – happen to be aligned with the sun).
For those of you who may be new to viewing it the ISS will be visible as one of the brightest (mostly the brightest) star-like object in the sky as it passes approx 200 miles overhead at over 17000 mph. The table below gives a lot of information about each visible pass including when and where to look. The lower the Mag number the brighter the ISS will be. So for example the pass on Oct 7 starting at approx 7:47pm will be very bright. It will star lo in the SW at 7:47pm then rise high above you as it crosses the sky high above and heads towards the NE. It will “blink out” (or rather rapidly fade out) at about 7:52pm. Why does it do that? Because that is when the ISS will enter the earths shadow (i.e the Sun has “set” for them – at least until it rises for them in another 45 minutes or so).
Be sure to wave to the SIX astronauts/cosmonauts who are calling the ISS home right now. (note: there are currently nine people in space right now – three are on the Chinese space station)
Click on the date for each pass for further detail.
All of the predictions above provided by Heavens-Above.com where you can get your own predictions for this and many other neat things to see in the sky above you.