ISS Followed the Arc

   Last evening, Sunday June 11th the ISS, International Space Station orbited over my part of the world. The ISS appeared about 45o above the west-northwest horizon and followed a path that went below the bowl of the Big Dipper and in a straight line ‘followed the arc to Arcturus’ in the constellation Bootes the Herdsman. At its peak the ISS reached nearly the zenith and at its brightest had to be at least -3.0 in apparent magnitude. After a several minutes the ISS moved out of sunlight and faded from view above the southeastern horizon.
Camera settings were 18mm; ISO 800; F4.0; 2 sec.
   One dependable and accurate source of viewing information for the ISS is at NASA’s ISS Sightings web site. Here you may learn the time and direction the ISS will appear, its duration of visibility, and its time and direction it will stop being visible.

   In a similar manner the Heavens Above web site will also provide viewing information for the ISS but in addition it will display a star map showing the path across the sky. This sample graphic shows the ISS path for June 12th.

   Want to see what the Earth looks like from the ISS? Click on this link to go to the ISS HD Earth Viewing web site for a view from one of several cameras mounted on the ISS as this screen capture shows. There are two additional maps that show the current position and orbital path of the ISS.
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

May Apogee Moon

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Friday May 12th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.84 Earth diameters (406,210 km or 252,407 miles) from the Earth.
   Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as this graphic shows? From our perspective on the Earth the Moon appears to circle around the Earth. However, in reality, the Moon orbits the Sun together with the Earth*


   The 16-day old waning gibbous Moon rises a few hours before midnight local time, and is located near the reddish star Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion, and the planet Saturn.

*Click here to read my 2006 Scope on the Sky column “The Real Shape of the Moon’s Orbit”. (PDF)

Read this very informative article about the Earth-Moon system and their orbital motions, written by Joe Hanson. “Do We Orbit the Moon?”
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.

Moon – Spica Conjunction


   Monday evening May 8th watch for the 12.5-day old waxing gibbous Moon to be about 8o from the blue-white star Spica in the constellation Virgo the Harvest Maiden. Both will just barely fit within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
   

   
   
   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.