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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

VIDEO: Iffy conditions for Space Station Charlestown overflight at 6:54 PM.

There's a chance overflight will be visible at 5:58 PM 
By Will Collette

The National Weather Service says that today's sunny weather will start clouding up tonight. 

Hopefully, that will be after the International Space Station (ISS) floats over Charlestown for three minutes just before 6 PM.

I used to enjoy a break from politics to focus on the sky, but thanks to Donald Trump, even ISS overflights now have political overtones.

That's because Trump is proposing to end US funding of the station and sell it to some commercial interest. I'm not making this up.

Maybe the purveyors of Trump's favorite food, McDonalds, will buy it and reconfigure the station into a golden arches shape. It seems there is nothing good that this guy doesn't want to mess up.

At precisely 5:58 PM, the ISS will suddenly appear in the west southwest 40 degrees above the horizon, arc over us in a somewhat flat trajectory and then disappear in the south southeast three minutes later as it losses the reflected glow of the sun.

National Weather Service prediction is here. 

Here's the message I received from NASA this morning, courtesy of their "Spot The Station" e-mail listserve:

Time: Tue Feb 13 5:58 PM, Visible: 3 min, Max Height: 42°, Appears: 40° above WSW, Disappears: 11° above SSE 

Celestial mechanics makes the ISS strictly follow these specifications.