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September 1, 2009

Space Cadets! Rise and shine with the space station

Early riser alert! Did you get up before dawn Monday morning to see the International Space Station fly nover Baltimore, only to find skies clouded over and the view impossible?

Heavens-Above.comWell, here's your second chance: The ISS, with the space shuttle Discovery attached and a total of 13 humans on board for only the second time in history, will fly almost directly over Baltimore before dawn Wednesday morning.

This will be the brightest pass for at least the next 10 days, so, provided skies are clear, it should be easy to spot from any location, even downtown Baltimore. And the forecast is promising, thanks to this cool, dry Canadian air.

The catch, of course, is that you have to be up and outside by 5:30 in the morning. 

So here's the drill: Look for the ISS to appear above the northwest horizon at 5:32 a.m., as the ISS/Discovery complex passes 217 miles over Lake Michigan. It will climb through the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia, rising nearly to the zenith (straight up) at 5:35 a.m. as it passes just north of Baltimore.

From there, the station will head off toward the southeast, past Mars and high above bright Venus rising low in the east, finally disappearing in the southeast at 5:37 a.m. as it flys over Cape May, N.J. and out over the Atlantic.

The next bright and easy-to-spot evening pass by the ISS will be next Monday evening, Sept. 7. There will be another on the 9th. Come back here for details. You can also make your own ISS flyby calculations at

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:27 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Sky Watching


The view was perfect in Butchers Hill. Thanks Frank. I have now seen the ISS three times because of this blog.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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