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International Space Station Passes
updated: Apr 20, 2014, 12:29 PM

By Chuck McPartlin

There are some nice visible passes by the International Space Station this week, and with the SpaceX Dragon resupply capsule attached, the ISS should appear a tad brighter.

The first pass is a brief one. On Tuesday the ISS should rise in the NW at 9:36 PM, and it will cruise by the bright yellow-white star Capella and continue about halfway to the zenith in the WNW, where it will enter the Earth's shadow and fade from view at 9:38.

Wednesday is predicted to have the brightest pass, rising in the NW at 8:47 PM, and passing fairly high along our mountain horizon to the ESE, where it will vanish when roughly between two bright reddish-orange objects around 8:52. The one to the north is the red giant star Arcturus, the Guardian of the Bear. The brighter one to the south is the planet Mars. The ISS may even appear to redden as it experiences sunset.

Thursday night will have two passes. At 7:59 PM, the first pass will rise in the NNW, and go across our mountain horizon to set in the E at 8:05. About 90 minutes later, the ISS will return in the NNW at 9:36 PM, and climb to about 20 degrees of elevation by 9:38, when it will enter the Earth's shadow near Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. Jupiter will be higher and brighter than Sirius, but it's not a star.

Fridays's appearance will be in the WNW at 8:46 PM, and will go across our southern, ocean horizon halfway to the zenith, and fade in the SSE at 8:51 while still 20 degrees high.

This is ISS Expedition 39, and you can find out about it here.


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