January ISS Passes
By Chuck McPartlin
The International Space Station will have a long series of visible passes through Santa Barbara’s evening skies to round out January. Its orbit can change a little, so to get the latest and most complete predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Thursday, January 16, the ISS will appear briefly, very low to the S on our ocean horizon, for less than a minute starting at 6:40 PM.
On Friday, the station will pop up in the SW, S of Venus at 7:27 PM, and again disappear within a minute.
Saturday's pass will be bright, starting at 6:39 PM in the SSW, cruising below Cetus, the Sea Monster, and vanishing in our shadow in the ESE at 6:42 PM between Bellatrix in Orion’s shoulder and Aldebaran, the orange eye of Taurus.
There will be two passes on Sunday, with the first rising at 5:52 PM in the S, passing through dim Eridanus, the River, across Orion from his foot, bright blue Rigel, to Alnitak, the eastern belt star, and then along the Pollux side of Gemini, the Twins before fading out in the ENE at 5:57 PM. On its next orbit, the station will rise in the W at 7:29 PM and move from N of Venus into the hooves of Pegasus, the Flying Horse, in the WNW where it will disappear at 7:30 PM.
On Monday at 6:40 PM, the ISS will rise in the WSW, N of Venus, and travel through Pegasus, dim Lacerta and Cepheus, and vanish in the N just after passing Polaris, the North Star, at 6:44 PM.
The best and brightest pass will be on Tuesday, January 21, when the station will rise in the SW at 5:52 PM and pass high overhead, cruising from Venus to Andromeda to Perseus to Camelopardalis to Lynx, where it will set in the NE at 5:58 PM. It will return at 7:31 PM in the NW to pass very low through Cygnus for a minute.
The next two ISS trajectories will be incrementally longer and higher versions of the final Tuesday pass.
Wednesday's pass will start in the WNW at 6:42 PM and pass low through Cygnus to the N to vanish by the bowl of the Little Dipper at 6:46 PM.
Thursday's pass will rise at 5:53 PM in the W, go through Aquarius, Delphinus, Cygnus, Draco, and Ursa Minor, and disappear in the NNE by the bowl of the Big Dipper at 5:59 PM.
The ISS won't make an appearance on Friday, but will return for a very low finale on Saturday, January 25, starting in the NW at 5:56 PM at setting at 5:58 PM in the N.
The ISS will soon return for another long series of evening passes in early February.
Hasta nebula - Chuck