November ISS and More
By Chuck McPartlin
The International Space Station will make a few visible evening passes through Santa Barbara skies over the next week or so. Its orbit can change a little, so to get the latest and most complete predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Monday, November 18, the ISS will pop up in the SSW at 6:44 PM PST, and briefly pass low beneath dim Capricornus the Sea Goat, fading away at 6:46 PM.
On Tuesday, it will appear at 5:56 PM in the S, and pass across our ocean horizon below Capricornus and the bright star Fomalhaut, then very near to Deneb Kaitos before disappearing in the middle of Cetus, the Sea Monster, at 6 PM in the ESE.
Wednesday's pass will start at 6:44 PM in the WSW just to the right of Saturn, and climb into the NNW, where it will enter the Earth's shadow near bright Vega at 6:47 PM.
On Thursday we get the best and brightest pass of this sequence, with the station rising at 5:55 PM in the SW amidst Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn, and climbing high alongside Aquila the Eagle and tiny Delphinus the Dolphin before fading out in the NE at 6:01 PM after passing bright white Mirfak, but not quite reaching bright twinkly yellowish Capella.
On Friday the ISS will show up at 6:45 PM in the WNW for a low dim pass across our mountain horizon, ending in the NNW at 6:47 PM.
Saturday's pass will be higher and brighter, starting in the W at 5:56 PM, again cruising over our mountain horizon, tracing the end of the bowl of the Little Dipper before winking out in dim Camelopardalis, the Giraffe, at 6:01 PM in the NNE.
The last pass of this sequence will be on Monday, November 25, when the station will make a very low pass over our mountains starting at 5:57 PM in the WNW, and ending at 6 PM in the N.
The ISS will return to our evening skies in early December.
The most recent batch of 60 StarLink satellites launched by SpaceX will be gradually becoming less visible as their orbits are raised, but you should still be able to observe the "string of pearls" as they pass overhead. Check out the graphic visualization of their orbit here.
These small satellites are going to cause all sorts of problems for astronomy, particularly the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. If you want to hear about the LSST and its mission, there is a free public talk on Wednesday, November 20 at 7 PM at the Direct Relief International building, 6100 Wallace Becknell Road in Goleta, sponsored by Las Cumbres Observatory: https://lco.global/outreach/ev