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January 23, 2011

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 NASA/ISSthe 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.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:03 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Sky Watching


I'll be bright eyed and bushy tailed.

To anyone who wants a view, dress warmly.

Me? I'll probably be comfy in bed at that hour.

Thanks for the heads up! I woke my 12-year-old son up just in time and we piled blankets and pillows into our master bath and watched it pass by through a south-facing window. It made for a wonderful memory.

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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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