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March 8, 2011

Space Station, shuttle Discovery in flyby tonight


Space Cadets! If the clouds hold off tonight, we’ll see a really interesting flyover by the International Space Station. The ISS will rise above the northwest horizon at 7:23 p.m., moving toward the zenith (straight up). If our timing is right, the (dimmer) shuttle Discovery will appear just ahead of the ISS, as its crew prepares for landing Wednesday. The ISS will pass almost directly overhead at 7:26 p.m., then slip into the Earth’s shadow at 7:27, vanishing near the bright star Procyon.

(Above: NASA Photo)

UPDATE, Wednesday, 10:20 p.m.: Here's a 60-second exposure showing the shuttle Discovery passing over Catonsville on Tuesday evening. Thanks to Travis "the Shorts-Wearing Shoveler." Used with permission.

Shuttle Discovery Catonsville, MD

Posted by Frank Roylance at 12:01 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Sky Notes, Sky Watching


The ISS and the Space Shuttle too? This Space Cadet will be reporting for observation duty at 1923 this evening! If I get a good sighting, will report. Thanks!

FR: Yes, please. It's great to hear how everyone fares with these observations. Clear skies, please.

I saw them both last night on the flyover around 657pm. It was very neat. Two bright white "stars" moving from west to east in a slight arc. One ahead of the other.

What a treat to see a double flyover tonight - a very clear view from Silver Run - lots of stars, the moon, the ISS and Discovery on it's last flight.

watching from Catonsville tonight and saw the station, but unable to see the shuttle. According to Heaven above, it should have been in front.

I have been lucky in the past and have seen the two soaring across the skies, and even once with binoculars saw the two just after separation. Not tonight

FR: You may have given up too soon. Wife and I saw both. I think ISS was in front - right on time and slightly yellow (solar panels), followed by about a minute by slightly dimmer, and whiter Discovery. Both very easy to see from the WeatherDeck. Unmistakable..

Just saw them both with my three boys, what a treat! Thanks so much for posting these. Most people I talk to have no idea that ISS is visible at all.

saw both of them right on time {minersville pa.]. Very nice

Pretty sure I saw it....pretty cool.
Wasn't able to make out Discovery, but that's not surprising as we are under a lot of trees -- it was hard to see initially & then to be positive it wasn't blinking until it finally hit a open spot right over head & was really bright & clear. My first attempt to observe anything except meteors & eclipses -- kind of nice not to be lying outside freezing for hours!

According to the Shuttle is in front. I have some time exposure photos and the second one was brighter. Pictures to follow once I actually open up a photo account.

Took my 6 and 4 year old out on the deck in Parkton and saw them - along with a lot of stars and the moon. The kids enjoyed and so did I. I'm bummed that the ISS and shuttle weren't closer together but it was still fun to see. It's a shame that there will only be one mission for the shuttle and, hence, only one more opportunity to see this again (one more mission's worth of opportunities, I should say).

FR: Actually, there are two more shuttle missions planned. Endeavour in April, and Atlantis sometime this summer. Plus, there are sometimes opportunities to see the ISS with one of the Russian spacecraft - Progress unmanned supply craft and manned Soyuz flights to the station.

Even though it was partly cloudy I was able to see the station fly over. Bright light. My 15 year old son was in the shower and was not able to view it. Couldn't get the wife to come out quick enough.
Very exciting.
San Francisco Bay Area

What a sight. Clearly saw both the ISS and Space Shuttle here in Glen Burnie. Really lucky to have cloudless skies, both objects were bright and unmistakable, just like you saw, Frank. Best thing ever next to the lunar eclipse a few months ago!

Great burden descended. Goodbye Discovery.

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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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