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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

 

Catch the International Space Station and the Total Lunar Eclipse (28 July 2018)

The ISS passes above the eclipsed moon and Mars on the morning of Saturday 28 July at 5:37 AEST as seen from Sydney facing west. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes above the eclipsed moon and Mars on the morning of Saturday 28 July at 6:42 ACST as seen from Adelaide facing west.  Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes above the eclipsed moon and Mars on the morning of Saturday 28 July at 6:42 AWST as seen from Perth facing west. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Saturday 28 July for Melbourne. click to embiggen and print.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Saturday 28 Julyfor Adelaide. click to embiggen and print.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Saturday 28 July for Perth. click to embiggen and print.

On the morning of Saturday 28 July we are treated not only to the longest Total Lunar Eclipse of the century, with the Moon near Mars just one day off the best opposition since 2003, but for most of Australia there is a very there is a very bright ISS pass (two for some favoured sites).  In some locations the pass is close to the the eclipsed Moon and Mars in the western sky in others it is close to the Bright star Sirius and Orion's belt. Sadly, Darwin and Alice Springs miss out on eclipse passes.

This pass is for people who are up in the early hours watching the eclipse, and adds an extra spark to the rare event..
 
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.
28 Jul-1.605:06:1125°ENE05:06:1125°ENE05:08:4310°ESEvisible
28 Jul-2.606:39:2610°W06:42:2026°SW06:45:1410°SSEvisible













Passes from Brisbane (starts above Mars)

28 Jul-2.505:36:1121°WSW05:36:5022°SW05:39:3410°SSEvisible























Passes from Melbourne (close to Sirius)
28 Jul-2.305:36:1125°N05:37:2635°NE05:40:3210°ESEvisible























Passes from Perth
28 Jul-2.005:08:5532°E05:08:5532°E05:11:1110°ESEvisible
28 Jul-2.006:42:2210°WSW06:44:3917°SW06:46:5610°Svisible












Passes from Sydney
28 Jul-3.905:36:1129°WNW05:37:4065°SW05:41:0110°SEvisible


Passes from Hobart (near Orion's Belt)
28 Jul-1.505:36:1111°N05:38:4424°NE05:41:3010°Evisible

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 always, start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted (You should already be up and dark adapted from watching the eclipse though). 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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