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?
Well, 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 Heavens-Above.com