The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

Space Station and Space Shuttle Passes this Week

There are several good opportunities this week to see the Space Station and the Space Shuttle from continental United States.  The exact times of the passes vary by location as well as where you need to look in the sky.  Tonight in Tucson, for example, we the the Space Station passing at 7:16pm  followed by the Shuttle at 7:38pm, both low in the northwest.  Other parts of the country may see passes earlier or later and some will pass higher in the sky.  The ISS will pass first and then the Shuttle…the Shuttle is currently “chasing” the ISS to catch up to it and dock later this week.

This mission will install new solar panels on the ISS.  The ISS will grow noticeably brigher as these solar panels will increase its surface area which will reflect more sunlight.

The best way to find times for the passes is to go to Heavens-Above or use the Spaceweather Simple Satellite Tracker.  Simply input your location and you will see the times and where to look for upcoming passes.

I will be at a star party tonight, so I don’t know if I will be able to try photographing the passes or not…will have to see how busy I am at the time.

March 16, 2009 - Posted by | NASA, Observing

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