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May 30, 2011

Catch ISS and Endeavour in Baltimore pass

If skies are clear overnight, Marylanders may be able to catch the International Space Station and the shuttle Endeavour as they fly almost directly over Baltimore. It may be the last chance any of us ever gets to see a space shuttle in flight. After Endeavour, only one more flight is scheduled - Atlantis, in July.

Unfortunately, it will mean some lost sleep.

Look for the pair to appear almost directly overhead at 3:38 a.m. Tuesday morning. Because they will be passing over well before sunrise, they will not be in a position to reflect sunlight until they are high overhead. But they should appear, one after the other, just east of the zenith (straight up), in the middle of the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

I'm not sure, at this writing, which will appear first - the ISS or Endeavour. But hedge your bets and be outside a minute or two early, just in case, and stick around a minute or two after the first goes by.  The ISS will be by far the brighter of the two.

From there. Endeavour and the ISS will head northeast, disappearing at 3:41 a.m. as they pass over Nova Scotia. The shuttle is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday.

Good luck.

Posted by Frank Roylance at 2:45 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Sky Watching


Thanks for the "heads up" for the ISS and shuttle pass. I am an avid ISS watcher, and like to track it on But 03:38 am is streching it a bit - I may be avid but I am not fanatic. But If I am up - I'll go out and look.
Why not have a web service for this?

Caught it!. Great view overhead, amazingly followed the clear path through the trees so well worth getting up for.

@ Baruch et al:

Check out

just put in your zip & get a table with several days of visible transits with time, elevation, brightness, etc. You can print it out as well. I chose last night because E is the best visibility for me down here in the woods, the magnitude was -3.9 (really bright enough to see through local light polution & haze) & I could compare with all the other possible options. This was the one worth getting out of bed for, by far,

FR: Glad you caught the flyby. Another good site for calculating ISS sighting opportunities is

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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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