Late May ISS

The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after undocking. (Photo: NASA/Roscosmos)

May gray permitting, there will be a few visible evening passes by the International Space Station through Santa Barbara’s skies to end the month. Its orbit may change, so to get the latest and most complete predictions, visit Heavens Above.

On Thursday, May 23, the ISS will pop up in the NNW at 10:51 PM PDT by bright Capella, fading into our shadow two minutes later.

Friday’s pass will start at 10:02 PM in the NNW by Capella, and pass low over our mountains, crossing Cepheus, and ending in the NE above bright Deneb at 10:05 PM.

The station will appear twice on Saturday, first at 9:12 PM in the N, passing very low over our mountain horizon to vanish at 9:16 PM in the ENE. On its next orbit, it will pop up for a minute in the NW at 10:48 PM between Capella and Castor and Pollux, the heads of Gemini.

Sunday’s pass will be bright, rising at 9:57 PM in the NW, and cruising from Capella to the bowl of the Little Dipper, fading away in our shadow near the Lozenge asterism forming the head of Draco in the NE at 10:01 PM.

We’ll get two passes again on Monday. The ISS will appear in the NNW in Perseus at 9:07 PM, and go along our mountain horizon to fade out in the E at 9:12 PM near Rasalhague, the head of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. Then, at 10:44 PM, it will show up in the WNW in Gemini, and pass to the head of Hydra, the Sea Snake, where it will wink out at 10:45 PM in the W.

Tuesday’s pass will be bright, starting in the WNW at 9:53 PM, going between Castor and Pollux, through the Sickle asterism of Leo, and disappearing as it enters Virgo at 9:57 PM in the SSW.

Wednesday’s pass will be the best and brightest of this sequence, rising at 9:03 PM in the NW by Capella, skimming the bottom of the bowl of the Big Dipper high overhead, then to bright orange Arcturus and into the head of Scorpius in the SE at 9:08 PM.

On Thursday, we’ll get a dim pass from W to SW at 9:50 PM, from the feet of Gemini and well along the sinuous body of Hydra, ending at 9:53 PM.

To finish the month on Friday, it will rise at 8:59 in the WNW in Gemini, and cruise the whole length of Hydra, the largest constellation, to set in Centaurus in the SSE at 9:05 PM.

Hasta nebula,


Written by macpuzl

Outreach Coordinator for the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit

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