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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

 

Catch a Bright International Space Station Pass Tonight (30 December 2015)

The ISS passes near Fomalhaut, as seen from Adelaide on the evening of  Wednesday 30 December at 21:35 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes below the Southern Cross, as seen from Sydney on the evening of Wednesday 30 December at 22:07 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes below the Southern Cross, as seen from Perth on the evening of Wednesday 30 December at 20:34 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), this is different from the Heavens Above prediction which has it above the Southern Cross. click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 30 December for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 30 December for Sydney.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 30 December for Perth.

Tonight there is a bright evening pass of the International Space Station at or around nautical twilight (around an hour after sunset). For many places in Australia the ISS glides close the Southern cross or pointers. In other places it comes close to the bright star Fomalhaut (Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide). Darwin sees no pass.

Example cities are below.

                                                                     Time         Direction            Magnitude

Alice Springs ACST     Maximum altitude20:32:10 19°224° (SW)
-0.2






Adelaide  ACDST        Maximum altitude21:34:59 50°220° (SW)
-2.3





Brisbane AEST            Maximum altitude19:29:36 48°226° (SW)
-2.2






Melbourne AEDST      Maximum altitude22:06:36 42°215° (SW)
 -1.9






Sydney AEDST            Maximum altitude22:07:11 15°211° (SSW)
0.1
Perth   AWST               Maximum altitude20:37:11 30°219° (SW)-1.1


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 Sydney, 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, there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions.

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Comments:
Cue heavy cloud cover over southern adelaide
 
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