ISS for February
By Chuck McPartlin
The International Space Station will be making visible evening passes through Santa Barbara's skies in the next week, if the weather cooperates. You can always find the latest predictions, including early morning appearances, at Heavens-Above.
On Tuesday, February 5, the ISS will make a very brief, very low appearance over our mountains, rising in the NNW at 7:06 PM, and setting a minute later directly N, below the Little Dipper.
It'll make two passes on Wednesday, starting at 6:15 PM in the N, passing through the bowl of the Big Dipper to disappear in the NE at 6:18 PM. On its next orbit, it will pop up briefly in the NW at 7:51 PM, and enter the Earth's shadow within a minute.
We get a bright pass on Thursday, starting at 6:59 PM in the NW in Cygnus, and cruising right by dim Polaris, the North Star, to vanish in the NNE at 7:02 PM.
There will be two passes again on Friday, when the station will first show at 6:08 PM in the NNW, pass through the bowl of the Little Dipper, then just above the bowl of the Big Dipper, and through dim Cancer, the Crab, and fade away near the head of Hydra in the E at 6:13 PM. Hydra, the Sea Snake, is the biggest constellation, but it's long and thin as befits a snake, ending below Virgo. Its tail won’t rise until just before 1 AM Saturday. Friday’s second pass will rise at 7:44 PM in the WNW, passing through Cygnus and Pisces to fade out in the W at 7:46 PM, just before passing between the Moon and Mars.
On Saturday, February 9, the ISS will start a bright transit in the NW at 6:53 PM, fly through Cygnus, Pegasus, and Aries, between Cetus and Taurus, then through Lepus at Orion's feet, and disappear at 6:58 near Canis Major and Sirius, the brightest star, in the SSE.
Sunday's pass will be the brightest of this series, rising at 6:01 PM in the NW, sailing through Cygnus, Cepheus, very dim Camelopardalis, the head of Auriga near the bright star Capella, the feet of Gemini, and setting in the ESE at 6:08 PM between Orion and the bright star Procyon in Canis Minor. Procyon and Gomeisa, a dim star just above it, make up the Little Dog, who's nothing but a hot dog.
The last pass will start on Monday in the W at 6:47 PM, and pass across our ocean horizon through Pegasus, by the star Deneb Kaitos in Cetus, and setting in the S at 6:52 PM, well below Lepus and Orion.