The International Space Station is expected to offer 2 great naked eye viewing opportunities as it passes over central Pennsylvania this week.
The ISS is expected to appear in our sky at 8:57 p.m. Saturday, April 3, about the width of a fist at the end of an outstretched arms (10 degrees) above the west-northwestern horizon. Over the next 5 minutes it will move toward the south, rising to a maximum height of 67 degrees before disappearing at 34 degrees above south-southeast.
It will appear again at 8:09 p.m. Sunday, April 4, about 10 degrees above the northwest horizon, moving to east-southeast and rising to 70 degrees over 7 minutes and then disappearing at 11 degrees above east-southeast.
NASA explains, “The horizon is at zero degrees, and directly overhead is 90 degrees. If you hold your fist at arm’s length and place your fist resting on the horizon, the top will be about 10 degrees.” Each additional fist-width above the horizon is roughly another 10 degrees of elevation.
NASA doesn’t issue one of its Spot the Station alerts for anything less than 40 degrees, and the space station is not expected to meet or top that point again this week.
According to NASA, “the space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles per hour).”
Contact Marcus Schneck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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