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Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Bright Passes of the ISS for Easter

Evening sky looking north-west on Friday 29 March at 20:36 pm ACDST as seen from Adelaide. The ISS is about to pass over the star Alnilam. Click to embiggen.Evening sky looking north-west on Saturday 30 March at 19:19 pm AEST as seen from Brisbane. The ISS is about to pass below the star Mintaka. Click to embiggen.
Evening sky looking north-west on Monday 1 April at 20:20 pm ACST as seen from Darwin. The ISS is about to pass over the star Bellatrix. Click to embiggen.Evening sky looking north-west on Friday 29 March at 19:36 pm AWST as seen from Perth. The ISS is abut to pass over the star Procyon. Click to embiggen.

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).

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I have shown people the ISS in the past. Some of them just shrug and say "looks like an aircraft" and walk away. Where has their sense of wonder gone, I wonder ?

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.
is the sign reading still related to astroblog??
Sorry Taruhan, what sign?
"Lack of Curiosity killed the cat with boredom"

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.
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