Friday, January 15, 2016
Catch Some Bright International Space Station Pass Starting Tonight (15 January 2016)
|The ISS passes near between Taurus and Orion , as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Sunday 17 January at 21:50 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.||The ISS passes or the bright star Sirius, as seen from Sydney on the evening of Saturday 16 January at 21:38 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.||The ISS passes below Aldebaran and the Moon, as seen from Perth on the evening of Wednesday 20 January at 19:52 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot). click to embiggen.|
|All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Sunday 17 January for Adelaide.||All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Saturday 16 January for Sydney.||All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 20 January for Perth.|
Starting tonight (Friday 15 January) there a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station. For many places in Australia the ISS glides over or near bright stars or distinctive constellations. In Sydney and Perth the ISS passes through Orions belt (19 January and 17 January respectively), in Melbourne the ISS passes close to the Moon (18 Jan) or between Orion and Taurus (15 Jan, 17 Jan for Adelaide and 20 Jan for Perth).
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, choosing some of the more distinctive events, but there are lots more that are perfectly nice.).
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.