By Chuck McPartlin
To close out January, the International Space Station will once again be visible in Santa Barbara’s evening skies, weather permitting. To get the most recent predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Sunday, January 21, the ISS will make a brief and very low debut out over our ocean to the SSE, popping up at 6:42 PM, and disappearing only 30 seconds later without climbing very high.
Monday will have a similar pop-up showing, appearing in the SW at 7:25 PM, and climbing up to vanish in our shadow at 7:26 PM, just as it passes the star Deneb Kaitos, the tail of Cetus the Sea Monster, or Whale.
On Tuesday we’ll get a much brighter pass, rising in the SSW at 6:33 PM, passing right through Orion, and fading away in the ESE near Betelgeuse, the Armpit of the Giant, at 6:36 PM.
Wednesday, January 24, will have the station rising at 7:17 PM in the WSW, gliding along the edge of the Great Square of Pegasus, and fading out at 7:19 PM in the WNW in the dim constellation Lacerta, the Lizard.
Thursday’s pass will be the best of this sequence, rising at 6:24 PM in the SW, passing through Pegasus and Cassiopeia, and slipping into shadow in the nose of Ursa Major, the Great Bear, in the NE at 6:30 PM.
On Friday, the space station will appear in the WNW at 7:10 PM, cruise low by the bright star Deneb, and set at 7:12 PM in the NNW.
The ISS will rise in the W at 6:17 PM on Saturday, and sail low across our mountains through Cygnus and the Little Dipper before fading out in the bowl of the Big Dipper, in the NNE at 6:22 PM.
The last pass of this sequence will be on Monday, January 29, and will be a lower repeat of Saturday’s pass, rising in the WNW at 6:10 PM, and setting at 6:13 PM in the N.
Take an evening break, be thankful for surviving our recent misfortunes, and look up and wave! Assuming no orbital adjustments, the ISS will be back in a little over a week.