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Saturday, December 23, 2017

 

Christmas Day ISS pass in the morning (Dec 25, 2017)

The ISS passes Through Orion, as seen from Melbourne on the morning of Monday 25 December at 4:52 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes above Orion, as seen from Adelaide on the morning of Monday 25 December at 4:22 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes passes above Orion, as seen from Perth on the morning of Monday 25 December at 3:25 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 Thursday 21 December for Melbourne.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Thursday 21 December for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Thursday 21 December for Perth.

On Christmas morning there is a very bright ISS pass, (two for some favoured sites) where the ISS passes through or above Orion, in some locations the pass is close to the bright star Sirius in the western sky in others it is close to crux (Canopus for Darwin).

This pass is for people who are up feeding Santa's reindeer at that early hour. If the small ones are up then as well this could be a Santa Sleigh moment.
 
The following tables are from data provided from Heavens Above.

Passes from Adelaide
Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.

25 Dec-0.802:43:2310°SSW02:45:3917°SSE02:47:5210°ESEvisible

Passes from Brisbane

25 Dec-1.102:17:0010°S02:19:3520°SE02:22:0810°Evisible
25 Dec-2.603:53:2110°WSW03:55:5822°NW03:58:3310°Nvisible

Passes from Darwin
25 Dec-3.904:58:5010°SW05:02:0782°SE05:05:2210°NEvisible


Passes from Melbourne
25 Dec-2.503:13:1410°SW03:16:2540°SE03:19:3410°ENEvisible
25 Dec-2.404:50:1710°W04:52:4018°NW04:55:0210°Nvisible


Passes from Perth
25 Dec-4.003:22:1810°SW03:25:3771°NW03:28:5210°NEvisible


Passes from Sydney

25 Dec-2.403:15:0010°SSW03:18:0940°SE03:21:1710°ENEvisible
25 Dec-2.104:52:2710°W04:54:2014°NW04:56:1310°NNWvisible


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, a small difference in location can mean the difference between the ISS passing over a star or missing it completely.
 
As allways, 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. Use the most recent prediction for your site. 
 
Mars, Jupiter and the bright star Spica from a line in the east was well, so it should be fine viewing for those up at that early hour.

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