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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

 

Lots and Lots of Bright ISS passes (Morning and Evening, 25 February-1 March)

The ISS passes below Jupiter, as seen from Adelaide on the morning of  Sunday 28 February at 5:56 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes below Jupiter, as seen from Brisbane on the morning of  Monday 29 February at 4:38 AEST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes above Jupiter, as seen from Perth on the morning of  Sunday 28 February at 4:59 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 28 February for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Monday 29 February for Brisbane.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Sunday 28 February for Perth.

This week there a series of bright passes of the International Space Station. Early in the week they are in the morning, late in the week they are in the evening, and there are a couple of dual morning/evening bright passes.

Thursday morning (25 Feb) sees the  ISS pass over Mercury and Venus as seen from Brisbane, Perth  and Melbourne.The morning of Friday the 26th sees the ISS pass near the head of the Scorpio  and Mars as seen from Adelaide and Perth, and the Moon for Melbourne (Brisbane sees the ISS pass near the head of the Scorpio  and Mars on the 25th).

Probably the most spectacular pass in on the morning of 27 Feb (Melbourne) 28 Feb (Adelaide and Perth) and 29 Feb (Brisbane) when the bright ISS pops out of the Earth's Shadow near Jupiter. See the images above for timings for Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

There's lots more, as a brief sampler, on the evening of 1 March the ISS passes over alpha Centauri  as seen from Perth, through the middle of the Southern Cross as seen from Birsbane, between the pointers as seen from Melbourne and between th epointers and the Southern Cross as seen from Adelaide.

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.

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