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Wednesday, September 02, 2015

 

A Series of Bright ISS passes Wednesday 2 September - Monday 8 September 2015

The ISS passes between Arcturus and Vega, as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Wednesday September 2 at 19:22 ACST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes near Spica and Mercury, as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Friday September 4 at 19:14 ACST. After this it passes over Hadar (Beta Centauri) Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 2 September for Adelaide.All sky chart showing times from Heavens Above for Friday September 4 for Adelaide.

This week there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station. In some places in Australia it comes close to Mercury later in the week. After this it glides either through the pointers or over the pointers, depending on where you are.

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. Even the difference between the city centre and the suburbs can mean the difference between seeing the ISS go over Hadar or between Hadar and Rigel Kent, let alone the differences between cities in different states.

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.

If you are trying to take pictures, make sure you have a tripod and have the camera in night mode (or a mode were you can take exposures of around 5 minutes), if you can set the camera to take multiple exposures unattended that would be best.

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