By Chuck McPartlin
The International Space Station will be making visible passes through Santa Barbara’s evening skies in mid September, weather permitting. These are just the brightest evening appearances, and were made weeks in advance. Its orbit may change, so to get the latest and most complete predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Monday, September 11, the ISS will pop up in the SW at 9:02 PM PDT, and climb through the head of Scorpius into Ophiuchus, where it will vanish into our shadow in the WSW at 9:04 PM.
The brightest pass of this sequence will be on Tuesday, with the station rising in the SSW at 8:13 PM, passing across Scorpius, below bright Altair, along the northern side of the Great Square asterism of Pegasus, and fading away as it enters Andromeda.
On Wednesday, it will appear in Libra in the W at 9:02 PM, go by orange Arcturus, along the handle of the Big Dipper, and vanish below the Little Dipper in the N at 9:06 PM.
Thursday’s pass will be bright, and a longer, higher version of Wednesday’s pass, rising at 8:13 PM in the WSW, cruising above Polaris, below Cassiopeia, and setting in the NE in Perseus at 8:19 PM.
The ISS will be back on Saturday, September 16, with a similar pass, starting in the WNW at 8:15 PM, and ending in Perseus in the NNE at 8:18 PM.
Another similar pass will occur on Sunday, a touch higher and brighter, rising in the W at 7:24 PM, and setting in the NNE at 7:30 PM.
The last pass of this sequence will be on Tuesday, September 19, and will again be similar but very low and dimmer, starting in the NW at 7:25 PM, and ending in the N at 7:28 PM.
The ISS will be back in our evening skies at the end of the month.