By Chuck McPartlin
The International Space Station will be making visible passes through Santa Barbara’s evening skies during the next week, weather permitting. The orbit of the ISS may change, so to get the latest and most complete predictions, visit Heavens Above.
On Tuesday, September 13, the station will make a bright pass starting in the WSW at 8:57 PM PDT, from the Scorpius/Libra border in the WSW, and climbing up between orange Arcturus and white Vega to fade out in our shadow near the Keystone of Hercules in the WNW at 8:55 PM. Between Vega and the Keystone is the Solar Apex, the direction in which our solar system is heading as it orbits the center of our galaxy.
On Wednesday, the ISS will make its brightest pass of this sequence, rising at 8:04 PM in the SW near red Antares, the Rival of Mars, and cruising very bright past Altair in the Summer Triangle asterism overhead to set in the NE in Andromeda at 8:10 PM. It will return on its next orbit to make a low pass in the NW at 9:42 PM, vanishing after passing below Arcturus a minute later.
Thursday’s pass will also be low, starting in the W at 8:53 PM below Arcturus, to the handle of the Big Dipper, and fading out below Polaris, the North Star at 8:57 PM.
Friday’s path will be similar, but higher and brighter, with the station showing up in the WSW at 8:04 PM and continuing to the NNE horizon in Perseus at 8:10 PM.
Saturday will have a dim, very low path similar to the previous two, starting at 8:55 PM in the NNW and ending after a minute.
The last pass of this sequence on Sunday will appear at 8:04 PM in the WNW, very low, but higher than Saturday’s pass, ending in the N at 8:08 PM.
The ISS will be back in our evening skies at the end of the month, when Summer has gone, and Autumn is here.