Late July International Space Station
By Chuck McPartlin
The International Space Station is back for some late July trips across the skies of Santa Barbara. I’m just listing the evening passes here, but if you’re an early morning person, or to make sure you get the latest predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Friday, July 21, the ISS will briefly pop up in the SW at 10:10 PM, vanishing in the Earth’s shadow a minute later as it nears the star Spica, to the left of Jupiter.
The first pass on Saturday will be a bright one that rises in the SSW at 9:18 PM, passes along our ocean horizon through the head of Scorpius, along Ophiuchus, and through the Summer Triangle to set in Pegasus in the ENE at 9:24 PM. The space station will show up again at 10:56 PM in the WNW to the right of Jupiter, and pass below the bowl of the Big Dipper to disappear in the N at 11 PM.
On Sunday, the ISS will shift that path a bit higher, appearing in the W at 10:03 PM and setting in the NNE at 10:08 PM.
Monday’s pass will again shift higher and earlier, rising at 9:10 PM in the WSW, passing right by Mizar and Alcor, the pair of stars in the middle of the handle of the Big Dipper, and setting at 9:16 PM in the NE.
On Tuesday, July 25, the ISS will drop back down for a low pass across our mountain horizon, rising in the WNW at 9:56 PM, and setting in the N at 9:59 PM.
On Wednesday, the station will rise in the W at 9:02 PM in Leo, pass through the chest of Ursa Major, and set in the NNE at 9:07 PM near Cassiopeia. If you have a good view of the low western horizon, you may spot Mercury near where the ISS rises. And, as the ISS sets, you can catch a brief, bright Iridium satellite flare low in the NNW at 9:07 PM.
The last ISS pass of this sequence will be on Friday, rising at 8:56 PM in the NW and passing low over the mountains to set at 8L58 PM in the N. Just before the ISS rises, at 8:55 PM low in the NNW, there will be another Iridium flare, though it will be much dimmer.
As a bonus, on Sunday, July 30, at 8:42 PM, there will be a very bright Iridium flare low in the NNW.