Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Bright Passes of the ISS for Easter
There is a series of bright passes of the International Space Station running from the 28th to the 2nd of April, depending on where you are in Australia.
These occur in the early evening, when they will be great to watch with the family and friends. Several passes also go by some very nice sky territory.
For example, on the 29th from Adelaide, the ISS shoots through Orion's Belt. In Brisbane, on the 30th the ISS not only shoots through Orion's Belt but it comes close to the bright star Betelgeuse. For pass predictions specific to you site, see the Heavens Above site.
Make sure you go out about 5 minutes before the pass so your eyes adapt to the darkness, and also so that you can orient yourself, and watch the ISS pass over the full length of the sky. The ISS will be the brightest moving object in the sky at that time (aside from obvious aircraft).
Thanks again Ian. We saw it Tuesday night with thin cloud, hoping to see the Dragon. Either it hadn't separated yet, or wasn't bright enough with the near full moon, or both.
I set up a rig to see the transit of venus at work, and had many similar reactions. "its a dot". "Yeah, but it is the shadow of a whole planet...where you going..."
Showing my kids the spaceshuttle trailing the ISS, a few years ago is a special moment. I have unprompted drawings my kids did of comet McNeal over the blue mountains. When camping, satelite spotting is a standard activity. So just infect those you can with curiosity of the world.