Space station to brighten isle skies
The International Space Station will make a pair of bright evening passes over Honolulu this week if the clouds cooperate. On Monday, the space station will rise in the southwest at 8:43 p.m. and angle to the right.
It will pass high above the constellation Gemini in the west-northwest about 8:46 p.m. and then pass between the Big Dipper and the North Star before blinking out of sight about 8:49 p.m. Jupiter will be high and the Southern Cross will be low in the southern sky.
On Tuesday, the space station will rise in the southwest at 7:51 p.m. and arc to the left. It will be noticably brighter than was on Monday.
Just before 7:54 p.m., it will pass directly above Jupiter, nestled in the constellation Virgo in the southeast. About 30 seconds later, it will pass directly in front of the bright star Arcturus, also known as Hokule‘a, high in the east.
The space station then will bank toward the horizon, disappearing in the northeast about 7:57 p.m., just above the bright star Vega, visible if the horizon is unobstructed. Early risers will get a chance to see the space station on Thursday, when it will rise in the northwest about 4:47 a.m.
It will arc to the right, passing above the North Star just after 4:49 a.m. A minute later, its orbit will take it above the constellation Cassiopeia and, just after 4:51 a.m., above Venus and, low on the eastern horizon, Mercury. It will set in the southeast about 4:53 a.m.
The space station is visible just after sunset and just before dawn when it is illuminated by the sun against the darker sky.
In its current orbit, it is 249 miles up and traveling at 17,130 mph. Aboard are Americans Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer, Russians Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Novitskiy, and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.