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Monday, February 13, 2017

VIDEO: ISS will make a four-minute) pass over Charlestown tonight

International Space Station to make fourminute pass over Charlestown at 6:31 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

We've had several International Space Station (ISS) passes over Charlestown, but mostly during nights with little or no visibility.

Tonight, the National Weather Service says the sky will be mostly clear, though the wind will still be howling and the temperature is blustery. So we may be in luck at 6:31 PM when the ISS makes a four-minute pass over us..

The ISS will appear in the northwest at 6:31 PM sharp at an angle of 10 degrees over the horizon.

It will travel across the sky up to a high of 73 degrees elevation - almost straight up - for four minutes heading toward the east southeast where it will seem to vanish.

The Space Station, like all other visible man-made satellites, are only visible when reflected sunlight hits them 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: Mon Feb 13 6:31 PM, Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 73°, Appears: 10° above NW, Disappears: 36° above ESE 
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: