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Monday, February 19, 2018


A good week for ISS passes (close to Orion and the Moon. 20-25 February, 2018)

The ISS passes between Orion and the crescent Moon, as seen from Melbourne on the evening of Wednesday 21 February at 21:23 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes through Orion's belt, as seen from Adelaide on the  evening of Wednesday 21 February at 20:52 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes close to the crescent Moon, as seen from Perth on the  evening of Wednesday 21 February at 19:54 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), the inset shows the binocular view of the close pass.click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 21 February for Melbourne.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 21 February for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 21 February for Perth.

Over the next few days there are a series of  very bright ISS pass, some in the morning where the IS passes close to Antares and the bright planets Jupiter and Mars and some in the evening where the ISS passes through or above Orion, in some locations the pass is close to the crescent Moon. There is a particularly close pass near Perth, and in some locations the ISS may pass over the Moon.

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.
20 Feb-3.605:09:4554°SSW05:10:1869°SE05:13:3610°NEvisible
20 Feb-3.221:44:1810°WNW21:47:3356°SW21:48:5132°SSEvisible
21 Feb-2.105:55:0118°NW05:55:0118°NW05:56:4510°Nvisible
21 Feb-3.920:52:0410°NW20:55:2166°NE20:58:4010°SEvisible
21 Feb-0.822:30:0710°WSW22:32:0815°SSW22:32:5014°SSWvisible
22 Feb-1.421:36:5510°W21:39:4224°SSW21:42:2910°SSEvisible
23 Feb-2.520:44:0910°WNW20:47:2043°SW20:50:3310°SEvisible
24 Feb-0.721:30:2110°SW21:31:5713°SSW21:33:3410°Svisible
25 Feb-1.120:36:5410°W20:39:2620°SSW20:42:0010°SSEvisible
27 Feb-0.720:30:3710°SW20:31:3911°SSW20:32:4210°Svisible

Passes from Brisbane

20 Feb-0.303:06:5511°SSE03:07:1811°SE03:08:1810°SEvisible
20 Feb-3.704:40:4510°SW04:44:0154°NW04:47:1510°NNEvisible
20 Feb-3.119:38:5110°NW19:42:0656°SW19:45:2310°SSEvisible
21 Feb-3.103:52:1154°ESE03:52:1154°ESE03:55:0710°NEvisible
21 Feb-3.718:46:4210°NNW18:49:5656°NE18:53:1110°SEvisible
21 Feb-0.420:25:5010°SW20:26:3911°SW20:27:2910°SSWvisible
22 Feb-1.504:37:3812°NNW04:37:3812°NNW04:38:0510°NNWvisible
22 Feb-1.019:31:4310°W19:34:1420°SW19:36:4610°Svisible

Passes from Darwin
20 Feb-1.605:47:0310°S05:49:5728°SE05:52:4810°ENEvisible
21 Feb-0.504:56:2110°SSE04:57:4112°SE04:59:0010°ESEvisible
21 Feb-0.819:47:1410°W19:49:4019°SW19:52:0610°Svisible
22 Feb-4.005:40:2829°SW05:41:5768°NW05:45:1110°NNEvisible

Passes from Melbourne
20 Feb-0.504:06:5610°E04:06:5610°E04:07:0110°Evisible
20 Feb-3.305:39:4529°W05:40:4637°NW05:43:5210°NNEvisible
20 Feb-2.120:40:5210°NNE20:42:5816°NE20:45:0510°Evisible
20 Feb-2.722:15:5610°WNW22:18:5145°SW22:18:5145°SWvisible
21 Feb-3.921:23:3610°NW21:26:5587°NE21:30:0611°SEvisible
21 Feb-0.523:01:3810°WSW23:02:5014°SW23:02:5014°SWvisible
22 Feb-3.320:31:3710°NNW20:34:4540°NE20:37:5510°ESEvisible
22 Feb-1.422:08:3510°W22:11:2023°SSW22:13:3113°SSEvisible
23 Feb-2.321:15:4910°WNW21:18:5738°SSW21:22:0710°SEvisible
23 Feb-0.422:55:2110°SSW22:56:1211°SSW22:56:3111°Svisible
24 Feb-0.722:01:4410°SW22:03:3714°SSW22:05:3110°SSEvisible
25 Feb-1.221:08:3210°WSW21:11:0620°SSW21:13:4010°SSEvisible
27 Feb-0.821:01:4510°SW21:03:2013°SSW21:04:5510°Svisible

Passes from Perth

20 Feb-2.904:12:3335°S04:13:3449°SE04:16:4710°ENEvisible
20 Feb-2.120:46:4510°WNW20:49:4833°SW20:51:3719°SSEvisible
21 Feb-2.604:57:5223°NW04:57:5223°NW05:00:2110°Nvisible
21 Feb-3.619:54:1510°NW19:57:3374°SW20:00:5410°SEvisible
22 Feb-0.720:40:0010°WSW20:42:0315°SSW20:44:0710°Svisible
23 Feb-1.519:46:4610°W19:49:3826°SW19:52:3210°SSEvisible
25 Feb-0.719:40:1610°WSW19:41:5113°SSW19:43:2610°Svisible

Passes from Sydney

20 Feb-1.004:06:5519°ESE04:06:5519°ESE04:08:3710°Evisible
20 Feb-3.005:39:4412°WSW05:42:2731°NW05:45:2510°NNEvisible
20 Feb-3.620:39:5210°NNW20:43:0347°NE20:46:0411°ESEvisible
20 Feb-0.622:17:2810°WSW22:18:5015°SW22:18:5015°SWvisible
21 Feb-2.104:52:1124°NE04:52:1124°NE04:53:3810°NEvisible
21 Feb-1.721:24:2510°W21:27:2128°SW21:30:0711°SSEvisible
22 Feb-3.120:31:4710°WNW20:35:0256°SW20:38:2110°SEvisible
23 Feb-0.721:17:4310°WSW21:19:3714°SSW21:21:3010°Svisible
24 Feb-1.320:24:2510°W20:27:0923°SW20:29:5410°SSEvisible
26 Feb-0.720:17:5910°SW20:19:2312°SSW20:20:4810°Svisible

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 the Moon (or the stars in Orion's Belt) or missing it completely.
As always, 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.

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