Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Catch a Series of Bright International Space Station Passes (4-9 November 2014)
|All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Tuesday November 4 for Adelaide.||All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Tuesday November 4 for Melbourne.|
|The ISS passes above Mars, as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Tuesday November 4 at 21:13 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.||The ISS passes near the Southern Cross, as seen from Melbourne on the evening of Tuesday November 4 at 21:44 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.|
Starting tonight there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station lasting for 5 days. For many places in Southern Australia this series has the ISS gliding either above or under Mars, depending on where you are, on Tuesday November 4. On the 5th there is a bright pass in the twilight close to the bright star Fomalhaut.
Some of the passes are very short although bright as the ISS enters Earth's shadow, but it is interesting to see the ISS wink out abruptly.
When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location (I'm using Melbourne and Adelaide and Perth as examples).
Start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, on the night there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. The ISS will be moving reasonably fast when it passes near Mars, so viewers should be alert as the ISS comes up from the horizon very quickly.