Clouds may obscure Thursday's space station flyby
Space Cadets! The International Space Station will be passing over Baltimore shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday evening. It's predicted to be a very bright pass, but the weather forecast isn't very promising, so this is a web-only alert.
NWS/Sterling is forecasting "mostly cloudy" skies tonight. But on the off chance that they're wrong, here's the scoop on the flyby.
Look for the ISS to appear in the northwest at 8:20 p.m. EDT, as the station and its crew fly over the central Great Lakes. It will look like a bright, moving star. If it blinks or has multiple, or colored lights, it's an airplane. Keep looking.
It will fly through the bowl of the Big Dipper, rising to 61 degrees above the northeast horizon (about two-thirds of the way from the horizon to the zenith (straight up) at 8:23 p.m., as it passes over central New Jersey.
From there the ISS will pass very close to the bright star Deneb, in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. Deneb is part of the Summer Triangle, an asterism in the shape of a right triangle. The other points of the triangle are Altair and Vega.
FInally, the station will move off to the east-southeast, disappearing over the Atlantic at 8:25 p.m.