July Space Station Views
By Chuck McPartlin
While you're out looking at our great planet lineup, Santa Barbara will get some nice evening passes from the International Space Station, weather permitting. These are just the best nighttime passes, but there are also some bright morning events. To get the complete and most recent predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Wednesday, July 18, the ISS will rise at 8:58 PM PDT on our ocean horizon to the S, and make a bright but short low pass below Saturn, setting in the E at 9:02 PM. It will rise again on its next orbit in the WSW at 10:34 PM, pass through the handle of the Big Dipper near its junction with the bowl, sail below Polaris across our mountain horizon, and then disappear in the NNE at 10:39 PM.
On Thursday evening, the station will appear in the SW in Corvus at 9:41 PM, and fly very bright from horizon to horizon, passing by blue Spica and orange Arcturus before tracing Draco's back and vanishing in the NE at 9:48 PM.
Friday's first pass will be the brightest of this series, just a skosh brighter than Thursday's, starting at 8:49 PM in the SSW, going below the beautiful pairing of the Moon and Jupiter, bisecting Ophiuchus, and setting below the wing of Cygnus in the ENE at 8:55 PM. It will briefly show up again at 10:27 PM in the WNW, and pass low over our mountains to set in the N at 10:31 PM.
On Saturday, July 21, the ISS will rise in the W at 9:34 PM, pass below Venus, through the waist of Ursa Major just in front of the bowl, and vanish in Cassiopeia low in the NNE at 9:39 PM.
Sunday evening, it will appear in the WSW at 8:41 PM, go above Venus, past Regulus, through the handle of the Big Dipper, and above Polaris to set in the NE at 8:47 PM.
On Monday, we'll have a short dim pass starting at 9:28 PM in the WNW, and cruising low over our mountains, winking out at 9:31 PM in the N.
Tuesday's pass will be a higher, brighter repeat of Monday's trajectory, rising in the W at 8:34 PM, and setting in the NNE at 8:39 PM.
The ISS will return to our evening skies in early August.