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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

 

Another Round of Bright International Space Station Passes (17 November - 21 November 2015)

The ISS pass near the Moon from Adelaide on the evening of Friday 20 November at 20:51 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot and the size of the Moon is exaggerated), click to embiggen.The ISS passes near/over the Moon, as seen from Brisbane on the evening of Saturday 21 November at 19:36 AEST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot and the size of the Moon is exaggerated), click to embiggen.The ISS near the Moon as seen from Melbourne on the evening of Wednesday November 18 at 21:35 ACEST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot and the size of the Moon is exaggerated), click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Friday 20 November from Adelaide, click to embiggen.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Saturday 21 November for Brisbane, click to embiggen.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Wednesday November 18 from Melbourne, click to embiggen .

Starting tonight  (Tuesday) there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station lasting a more or less a week depending on where you are. For many places in Australia this series has the ISS being very bright high in the sky, and coming close to the Moon at various times. Almost everywhere in Australia will see a bright pass tonight anywhere between 7:30 and 10:00 local time.

Similarly, most of Australia sees the ISS pass not far from the Moon at different days. In Brisbane and sites close to it the ISS may even pass over the Moon. Example cities are below.

                                                                            Time         Direction                 Magnitude







Adelaide 20 Nov ACDST    Maximum altitude20:55:1666°315° (NW)453-3.1






Brisbane 21 Nov AEST       Maximum altitude19:35:4572°311° (NW)433-3.2






Melbourne 18 Nov AEDST Maximum altitude21:35:5157°317° (NW)493-3.0








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 Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne as examples, and you can see how different they are on different days ). Even the difference between the city centre and the suburbs can mean the difference between seeing the ISS go very close to the Moon or over the face of it.
 
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 the Moon, so be alert to catch the fleeting moment when the pair are close.

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Comments:
Is it possible that I saw a space station pass over Melbourne around 10pm tonight (Nov 22nd)?
 
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