By Chuck McPartlin
The mid-October skies above Santa Barbara will feature several nice visible passes by the International Space Station. To get the most recent predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Tuesday, October 10, the ISS will rise in the N at 7:52 PM, and briefly skim low over our mountains before setting in the NNE at 7:53 PM.
On Wednesday, it will pop up in the NW at 8:35 PM, and disappear into the Earth’s shadow at 8:36 PM as it reaches the handle of the Big Dipper, low in the NNW.
Thursday it will rise at 7:43 PM in the NNW, pass moderately bright but low above the mountains, and vanish in the dim constellation of Camelopardalis, the Giraffe, in the NNE at 7:46 PM.
Friday will have two passes, with the first rising at 6:52 PM in the N, and cruising low over our mountains to set in the ENE at 6:55 PM. The station will reappear in the NW at 8:27 PM, popping up through Bootes, the Herdsman before fading away in the WNW at 8:29 PM at an altitude 25 degrees.
The brightest pass of this sequence will rise on Saturday at 7:35 PM in the NW, fly through the handle of the Big Dipper and the bowl of the Little Dipper, through Cepheus, the King, and vanish in the middle of the Great Square of Pegasus in the E at 7:39 PM. Come out to the monthly free public star party at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, and catch some views of deep sky objects, too!
On Sunday, October 15, the ISS will appear in the NNW at 6:43 PM and make a long cruise at medium altitude to set in the E at 6:49 PM. It will show up again on its next orbit at 8:19 PM in the WNW near orange Arcturus, and pass low to the SW to disappear at 8:22 PM, right above the planet Saturn.
Monday’s pass will start at 7:27 PM in the WNW, and pass at medium altitude along our ocean horizon to set in the SSE at 7:33 PM.
No ISS on Tuesday, but it will return on Wednesday at 7:19 PM in the W for a lower pass similar to Monday’s, setting in the S at 7:24 PM
Be sure to look up and wave!
Hasta nebula - Chuck