Even of you only casually look at the nighttime sky it will be difficult to miss seeing the International Space Station this evening as it passes directly overhead of the Dover – New Phila area.
The ISS will first come into view at 9:48 PM this evening in the northwest horizon, It will travel directly over Dover – new Philadelphia before sinking in the southeast horizon. Maximum elevation is 89 degrees. (ninety degrees is technically straight up)
Since the timing of tonight’s pass will also coincide with maximum sunlight reflection off the station, it will be very bright and difficult to miss in tonight’s sky. If you’ve never seen an ISS pass tonight will bring one of the best passes we’ve had for some time and it will be very easy to spot. Even the kids will be able to see it easily.
Here are the particulars for Saturday night’s pass from AstroViewer.net:
WEATHER CONDITIONS Saturday morning will bring spotty showers and gloomy skies, but showers will end by lunch time and we should see skies gradually clear through the afternoon. By this evening, skies will be mostly clear over the Tuscarawas Valley – perfect for unobstructed nighttime sky watching.
Temperatures at 10:00 PM will be in the 72/74 degree range.
How to Spot the ISS – What to Look For
Look for a bright ‘star’ or point of light moving very quickly across the sky. It will be moving faster than a commercial jetliner. The space station has no strobe lights and it does not produce a contrail. There is no noise and it does not ‘twinkle’ or blink.
Light from the station is reflected light from the sun. The station presents a fairly large point of light – much bigger and brighter than a star.
For the best results, observers should look in the direction shown at the time listed. Because of the speed of an orbiting vehicle, telescopes are not practical. However, a good pair of field binoculars may reveal some detail of the structural shape of the spacecraft.
How high is the ISS and how fast is it moving?
The International Space Station travels in orbit around Earth at a speed of 17,500 miles per hour (that’s about 5 miles per second!). This means that the Space Station orbits Earth (and sees a sunrise) once every 92 minutes! On average, the ISS orbits at about 220 miles above the Earth.