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Thursday, August 18, 2016


The ISS crosses the Moon in Adelaide (Sunday Morning 21 August and Monday Morning 22 August 2016)

The ISS crosses the face of the Moon at 7:34:12 am ACST as seen from Adelaide. Click to embiggen.Close up of the ISS crossing the face of the Moon as seen from Adelaide. Click to embiggen.
More detailed timing chart showing the position of the ISS at one second intervals on the 21st.Centreline of the pass on the 21st (where people will see the ISS go through the exact centre of the Moon.

UPDATE:  Of course it was clouded out, wasn't it. The sky waited until I had set the telescope up at the end of the street to cover the Moon thoroughly. Maybe Monday

What is better than seeing the International Space Station glide cross the sky? Seeing it pass in front of the Moon!

This Sunday and Monday mornings (21st and 22nd August), some Adelaidiens have the chance to see the  ISS cross the face of the Moon. Unfortunately, A) the pass is in daylight and B) the ISS crosses the Moon in about 1.5 seconds C) the Moon is pretty close to the horizon.

This all makes for challenging viewing. At the least you will need a telescope with a clear western horizon. On the 21st the Moon is 10 degrees above the horizon when the Moon passes over it,  on the 22nd the Moon is a more friendly 27 degrees above the horizon, but the ISS is further from the centre line, meaning it spend less time in front of the Moon.

You will also need an unwavering gaze, as the ISS will be a tiny black dot flashing cross in one and a bit seconds. If you can do it try and capture video through your scope, running from about 1 minute before to one minute after the predicted time of the pass.

For Sunday, the various predicted pass start times are 7:34:12, 7:34:14 and 7:34:19 (see what I mean about recording a minute before hand)
For Monday, currently I only have 6:42:35  and 6:42:32

For you location, times may vary, it is best to check with Heavens Above (click on all passes so the daylight passes can be seen and choose the pass at 7:34 on the 21st and 6:40 on the 2nd) or CalSky (follow the link to Sun Moon crossings of the ISS) to get timings for your site.

Of course, this assumes that it is not bucketing down rain. Good luck and good viewing

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Yet again you have inspired us to look beyond the clouds that obscure our skies up here in North Queensland. Thanks again Ian for your tireless commitment to this Astroblog of yours. P.S. Love the new profile pic.
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