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Saturday, May 30, 2020

International Space Station flies over Charlestown tonite at 9:52

ISS will make 3-minute long journey across C-Town sky tonight at 9:52 PM
By Will Collette

CRS-20 - Final Dragon 1 arrives at the ISS -

The National Weather Service forecast calls for mostly clear skies so chances are good for a viewing of the International Space Station as it flies over Charlestown tonight. Lately, we've gotten several 6-minute overflights, but in mostly cloudy skies. With mostly clear skies, the 3 minute viewing window should be enough.

Added bonus: Space X is scheduled to launch two American astronauts from Cape Canveral at 3:22 PM. Depending on timing, who knows? You may get lucky and be able to see them maneuver to close in on the ISS (you'll need binoculars or a telescope). 

NASA says the Space X craft is due to dock with the ISS at 10:20 AM Sunday. The docking process is an elaborate space ballet so again, who knows if it might be visible from Charlestown.

There are several ways to watch this Space X mission live: NASA is live-streaming the event on YouTube and on its website for desktop viewing. SpaceX will also be live-streaming the event on its YouTube channel.

Space X or not, the space station will appear as if out of no where at 9:52 PM sharp in the northwest at 34 degrees over the horizon.

It will rise to 67 degrees and will track to the east southeast for three minutes where it will disappear  at 31 degrees above the horizon as it loses the sun's reflected light.

It is about as bright as a passing jetliner as it makes a quick and silent arc up to its maximum elevation. 

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.

Here's the exact wording of today's alert:

Time: Sat May 30 9:52 PM, Visible: 3 min, Max Height: 67°, Appears: 34° above NW, Disappears: 31° above ESE  

Catch the official National Weather Service forecast for Charlestown HERE.