International Space Station Over Santa Barbara

International Space Station Over Santa Barbara title=
International Space Station Over Santa Barbara
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By Chuck McPartlin

It’s June, and the tilt of the Earth’s axis toward the Sun makes for lots of illuminated passes by the International Space Station, stretching well into the night. This sequence actually starts on Saturday, June 3, but several appearances are brief and low, so I have omitted them. To get the latest predictions for all Santa Barbara passes, visit Heavens Above.

On Monday, June 5, the ISS will make a low pass over our mountain horizon, appearing in the NNW at 11:04 PM, and disappearing into the Earth’s shadow due N, beneath Polaris, at 11:05 PM.

On Tuesday night, it will rise in the N at 10:12 PM, and pass low over the mountains to disappear in the NE at 10:15 PM as it nears Deneb, the tail of Cygnus the Swan.

Wednesday’s shorter but brighter ISS visit will pop up in the NW at 10:56 PM, and climb up to the nose of Ursa Major, the Great Bear, where it will vanish at 10:57 PM.

Thursday, June 8, will be a bright pass rising at 10:03 PM in the NNW and gliding at a fair height over our mountains to disappear in the NE at 10:07 PM as it nears the upper wing of Cygnus.

Friday’s pass will be dimmer and lower, starting in the NNW at 9:12 PM, and setting in the ENE at 9:16 PM.

The brightest pass of this sequence, and it’s expected to be really bright, will rise on Saturday evening at 9:56 PM in the NW, pass along the bowl and handle of the Big Dipper, and fade into the Earth’s shadow at 9:59 PM near Gemma in the crescent of Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown. This will be a great finale for June's Public Star Party at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

There will be another bright pass on Sunday, June 11, rising at 9:04 PM in the NNW near bright yellowish Capella, passing under Polaris and above bright Vega in the ESE, setting at 9:09 PM.

June 12 will have a bright pass that rises at 9:48 PM in the WNW, and sails along our SW horizon from Gemini, below Regulus in Leo, below Jupiter through Corvus, the Crow, and fading out in the SSW at 9:52 PM.

On Tuesday, June 13, the station will make a very bright overhead pass starting at 8:55 PM in the NW, and vanishing in the SE near orange Antares, the heart of Scorpius, the Scorpion, at 9:01 PM.

Thursday’s pass will be the last of the series, rising at 8:48 PM in the WNW in Gemini, cruising our SW horizon along the serpentine back of the largest constellation, Hydra the Sea Serpent, and setting in the S in Lupus, the Wolf, at 8:53 PM.

Someone asked about the photo accompanying the Edhat Facebook posting for the May ISS appearances, which showed an external view of the space station, with the Earth in the background. That photo was taken on May 23, 2010 by an astronaut aboard the departing Space Shuttle Atlantis during STS mission 132.

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