ISS leads sky tour over B'more Monday morning
Are you going to be up early Monday morning? If so, take a few minutes and step outside for a look at the International Space Station as it makes a pass high over Baltimore.
If skies are clear, this one will lead the observer on a neat little tour of the early morning sky.
First thing you'll notice when you get outside is the planet Venus, the brilliant star-like object in the southeastern sky. It has been dazzling early risers for a couple of months now.
The waning moon will be hanging in the southwest. Watch in that general area at 6:14 a.m. as the ISS climbs up from the horizon. If the sun angles are right, its reflected sunlight will make it look like a bright star, moving quickly into the sky. If it's blinking or has colored lights, that's an airplane. Keep looking.
The station will pass almost directly in front of the moon, and then just to the right of Saturn. By 6:17 it will pass very close to a bright star called Arcturus in the constellation Bootes, near the zenith - straight up.
From there the ISS will move off to the northeast, passing close to another bright star called Altair, in the Summer Triangle, and through the nearby constellation Cygnus, the swan. That region of the night sky may be washed out by the gathering dawn.
By then the station and its crew of six, traveling at 17,500 mph, will have passed over Cape Cod and Nova Scotia before disappearing from our view at 6:20.