Int'l Space Station in flyover tonight
Sky Watchers! (A reader told me she thought "Space Cadets!" was derogatory. What do you think?) The International Space Station will fly up the East Coast this evening under cold, but otherwise ideal conditions for viewing.
On this pass the ISS will rise out of the southwestern sky at 5:59 p.m. and climb about halfway above the southeastern horizon as it makes its way from the coast of southern Georgia, to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Look for it as it passes through the constellation Orion (photo) at 6:02 p.m., just below the bright star Betelgeuse on The Hunter's right shoulder. From there the station and its crew of six will pass below Castor and Pollux, the twins of Gemini. Then they will move off to the northeast, over the Nova Scotia coast before disappearing from our view at 6:06 p.m.
The seeing should be good, with cold, dry, clear skies.
UPDATE, 7 p.m.: Well, the station was pretty easy to see, even in very bright dusky skies. But, of course, no stars were visible until a half-hour later. Next time I need to pay more attention to sky brightness in these flyby forecasts. Anyone else get a look?
NASA is preparing to launch the shuttle Discovery on Thursday afternoon to catch up with and resupply the ISS. It is the final flight for Discovery, and the third-to-last for the shuttle fleet before it's retired.