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International Space Station to Pass Over
updated: Aug 17, 2014, 6:28 PM

By Chuck McPartlin

Santa Barbara will get another extended sequence of nice passes by the International Space Station starting on Monday evening. Since I'm expressing some altitudes in degrees, you can measure 10 degrees in the sky as the span of your fist held at arm's length.

The current ISS mission is Expedition 40, and the crew consists of three Russians, two Americans, and a German. The next crew rotation is in September.

On Monday, August 18, the ISS will put on a quick show in the NNW, rising at 10:05 PM and disappearing into shadow at 10:07, just 19 degrees up, after cruising below the bowl of the Big Dipper.

On Tuesday evening at 9:17 PM, the ISS will rise in the NNE and pass low across our mountain horizon, entering the Earth's shadow at 9:20 while still 21 degrees up, in Cassiopeia, a warped W of stars.

Wednesday will feature two dim passes. At 8:29 PM, it will rise in the N, passing low across our mountains to set at 8:33 in the ENE. It will return at 10:05 PM in the NW for a brief climb toward the handle of the Big Dipper, but will enter shadow a minute later while only 22 degrees up.

Thursday's pass will be bright, rising at 9:16 PM in the NW and climbing high through the bowls of the Big and Little Dipper to the NNE to enter the Earth's shadow at 9:19 at 57 degrees of altitude.

On Friday evening we'll get another double pass, with one rising at 8:28 in the NNW, crossing our mountain horizon to set in the E at 8:33. Then it will reappear at 10:05 PM in the W, climbing briefly toward the bright orange star Arcturus, but going into shadow at 14 degrees up.

On Saturday it will rise at 9:16 in the WNW and pass along our western horizon, entering shadow at 9:19 at an altitude of 37 degrees.

Sunday the ISS will make its best and brightest pass, rising in the NW at 8:27 PM and passing overhead to the SE, where it will set at 8:33.

Monday, August 25 will have a dim pass, appearing at 9:17 in the WSW, and passing low to the SSW along the W horizon.

The last visit for this series will be on Tuesday, rising at 8:27 in the WNW, and passing low along the W horizon, and below Saturn and Mars, to set in the S at 8:33 PM, beneath the stinger of Scorpius.


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