By Chuck McPartlin
The International Space Station will be making visible passes through Santa Barbara’s evening skies, May Gray weather permitting. Its orbit may change, and I’ve only listed the best evening events, so to get the latest and most complete predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Saturday, May 27, the ISS will rise at 10:21 PM PDT in the NNW by bright Capella, and climb to just under Polaris in the N, where it will fade into our shadow at 10:24 PM.
On Sunday, it will trace a longer, lower version of that path, rising at 9:33 PM in the NNW, and continuing into Cepheus, fading out at 9:37 PM in the ENE just after passing bright Vega.
Monday will have two passes, with the first starting at 8:45 PM in the N, and passing low over our mountains to end at 8:49 PM in the ENE. On its next orbit, the station will pop up in the NW at 10:21 PM, climbing brightly from the Castor-Pollux-Venus lineup to just above the Sickle of Leo in the WNW, where it will fade away at 10:23 PM.
The brightest pass of this sequence will rise on Tuesday at 9:32 PM in the NW by Capella, cruise along the back of Ursa Major, past the head of Boötes, and vanish into Earth’s shadow at 9:36 PM in the ESE in Serpens Caput.
May will end with two passes. The station will rise at 8:43 PM in the NNW, pass below Capella, under the Little Dipper asterism, through Draco and Hercules, and disappear in the middle of Ophiuchus in the ESE at 8:49 PM. At 10:21 PM, it will appear in the W below Venus and skim from the head of Hydra to Alphard, its heart, fading away at 10:22 PM in the WSW.
On Thursday, June 1, the ISS will rise in Gemini in the WNW at 9:31 PM, go below Venus and along Hydra, and into shadow just after passing below Corvus, the Great Shopping Cart in the sky, in the S at 9:36 PM.
On Friday, it will make a high, bright pass starting at 8:42 PM in the NW in Auriga, cruising above Venus, along the back of Leo, near Spica in Virgo, and setting near the Moon in the SE at 8:49 PM.
Its las evening pass for Spring will occur on Sunday, June 4, a dimmer pass low over our ocean horizon from 8:42 PM to 8:47 PM, starting in the W, below Procyon and along the length of Hydra to Centaurus in the S.
The ISS will then transition into our predawn skies for the rest of June, returning to our Summer evenings in the second week of July.
The Chinese Tiangong space station will make numerous, mostly dim evening passes in the last two weeks of June.