Space station will make bright pass on Wednesday
The International Space Station will put in a spectacular appearance over Hawaii skies on Wednesday morning, weather permitting. The space station will rise in the northwest about 6:42 a.m. and climb straight up. About a minute later, it will skim the bottom of the Big Dipper.
At 6:45 a.m., it will pass near the star Arcturus, aka Hokule‘a, which will be very near the top of the sky.
It will then descend toward the southeast, passing to the left of Jupiter, Mars and the constellation Scorpius.
Saturn and Mercury will be low in the southeastern sky and the Southern Cross will be visible over the ocean in the south. To the left of the Southern Cross is the star Alpha Centauri, the closest to ours at a distance of 4.3 light-years.
The space station will then disappear into the Earth’s shadow about 6:48 a.m. The next bright evening pass will happen Saturday, when the space station will rise in the south and brush the southeastern horizon. Just before
7:04 p.m., it will pass directly above the star Sirius and below Orion.
Sirius is the brightest star in the sky, with an apparent magnitude of minus 1.46. The space station will be brighter at minus 2.3. Wednesday’s pass will be brighter still at minus 3.8.
Orbiting at 17,150 mph at an altitude of 254 miles, the space station is visible just after dusk and just before dawn when it is illuminated by the sun against the darker sky.
Aboard are NASA astronauts Joe Acaba, Mark Vande Hei and Scott Tingle; Russian cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Anton Shkaplerov; and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai.