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Thursday, August 10, 2017

VIDEO: Back again tonight and for a minute longer

International Space Station to make three minute pass over Charlestown at 8:48 PM 
By Will Collette

Astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. Shows the
Earth at the top and a gorgeous view of the Milky Way

When the International Space Station (ISS) makes an overflight over Charlestown, chances are good it will repeat the performance for one or two more nights.

Such is the case tonight, when the ISS will fly overhead for three minutes, a minute longer than it did last night.

Tonight, the National Weather Service says the sky will be partly cloudy with a pleasant temperature in the 60s.

The ISS will appear in the northwest at 8:48 PM sharp at an angle of 36 degrees over the horizon.

It will travel across the sky up to a high of 86 degrees elevation - almost straight up - for three minutes heading toward the southeast where it will seem to vanish at about 19 degrees above the horizon.

The Space Station, like all other visible man-made satellites, is only visible when reflected sunlight hits it just the right way.

Because the ISS is in a low earth orbit, its sighting always happen pretty close to sunset or sunrise.

You can sometimes see much higher satellites at any time of night, but they are much harder to spot than the ISS since they are much smaller and further away.

You can sign up with NASA's "Spot the Station" listserve and get a warning e-mail before such overflights. Click here to sign up for the alerts.

I did, and received this message about tonight's overflight:
Time: Thu Aug 10 8:48 PM, Visible: 3 min, Max Height: 86°, Appears: 36° above NW, Disappears: 19° above SE 
With binoculars, you should be able to see some detail on the station, but I also enjoy watching it with the naked eye.

It should look like this: