Another thing to see in the sky this week- ISS and docked Shuttle

After I wrote my last post yesterday, I decided to check out the site, . I was looking at a few things and decided to look at ISS (International Space Station) and sts-118 (Current space shuttle mission) passes for my area. Sure enough I had just missed a pass but there was another in about 50 minutes and it would be a bright pass but a short one as (about half way across the sky before entering the earth’s shadow). BTW the shuttle is currently docked with the ISS. I also wanted to grab a long exposure picture, but my battery died just before the pass, but I got in and changed the battery on time but when time came to snap the picture, I couldn’t find my remote release. Turns out it was sitting where I changed my battery! I did manage to see the object and it was difficult to miss as they are some of the brightest objects in the sky.

If you want see the ISS and STS-118 in the next few days there are some good opportunities. Go to, put in your location and click on the link for the 10 day ISS passes. It will show you all of the passes for your area, the times, magnitude, sky charts and a ground track. Look for the passes with the largest – magnitudes. For example look for mag of -2.4 which is much brighter than -.4 or 1.5. Magnitudes are based on the brightest stars. Vega is a 0 magnitude star and Arcturus is -.04. In comparison the sun is -26 magnitude, a full moon is -12 and a ¼ moon is -10 magnitude.

Over the next week there are several good passes over Western Canada, including a good one tonight at about 10:08 PM. The ISS should pass in the northern sky (just by the big dipper) across the entire sky. I am planning on getting the camera out and trying to get a picture.

Check out Heavens above for all the details for your area. They also list all satellite passes for your area every night.



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