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Friday, March 18, 2022

VIDEO: International Space Station will make a 5 minute pass over Charlestown tonight

You can see it if the weather cooperates
By Will Collette

See this directly on YouTube at

It's been a while since I've posted a notice of an overflight by the International Space Station over Charlestown even though they take place fairly often. Our winter weather has made ground viewing unlikely so I simply didn't post the alerts I get from NASA by e-mail.

We might have a chance tonight to see a 6-minute pass - that's almost horizon to horizon - if the forecast foggy and clouds stay away. The National Weather Service forecast (click here) expects today's pleasant sunshine to give way to fog and perhaps showers as we get into the night. The overflight starts at 7:33 PM, so we may have a shot.

The International Space Station (ISS) has long been a symbol of the US and Russia as well as astronauts from around the world to work together in peace. They observe the earth, do scientific experiments and live in harmony, more or less, for months at a time.

Just days ago, the head of the Russian space agency made a series of threats to that peace and harmony. In retaliation for US support of Ukraine against Russia's brutal invasion, he threatened to strand the US astronaut who set a new record for time to space by denying him passage on a Russian shuttle back to earth. 

He threatened to detach Russia's modules from the station and stop sending up supply shipments. He also threatened to somehow crash the ISS into some city in some nation that has failed to buy into Russia's rationale for invasion. In short, the guy talked a lot of trash. 

But at 7:33 PM tonight, the ISS will appear at only 10 degrees above the south southwest horizon and head northeast, reaching a maximum of 43 degrees above. It will then continue its 6 minute path, its trajectory slowly lowering until it reaches 10 degrees over the east northeast horizon. Then it will simply disappear. All that is weather permitting.

You can check the schedule yourself by CLICKING HERE.

Here is the notice I received from NASA: Time: Fri Mar 18 7:33 PM, Visible: 6 min, Max Height: 43°, Appears: 10° above SSW, Disappears: 10° above ENE 

The station can rival Mars or Jupiter  in brightness.

Combined with its eerie silent, swift passage, the ISS makes for great sky viewing.

Again, you can check out the timetable for station overflights by clicking here for each day's overflight of our area. 

You have the option to sign up for e-mail alerts that give you at least 12 hours' advance warning of overflights.