Good weather and the position of the sun mean that people across Washington should be able to see the mighty spacecraft.
Few people ever visit the International Space Station, but the next two weeks will be a major venue. People in Washington and much of the western US Englisch: www.mjfriendship.de/en/index.php?op…=view&id=167 who would like to watch the mighty spacecraft as it sweeps over us.
By early June, the ISS will traverse the night sky several times over Seattle and the Pacific Northwest – and thanks to a combination of decent weather and the seasonal track of the sun, even people in West Washington should have plenty of chances to see the show.
"We're lucky this year it worked out right," said John McLaren, president of the Seattle Astronomical Society. "It will not happen in a few years."
The ISS orbits Earth every 90 minutes, and their journey takes them across the Pacific Northwest ̵
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So, when the ISS drove over his house in Kent at 11:17. On Tuesday, even though it was dark on the ground, the sun's rays were precisely angled to reflect and visualize the spacecraft – which has only a few small exterior lights.
At this time of year, these conditions persist throughout the night.
"Usually you can see it for a run one night or maybe two," said McLaren. "What's really unusual here is that we have nights when we can see four or five passes in one night."
McLaren shot a one-minute exposure photo of his garden showing the station as a bright strand, like a supersized meteor. Watching with the naked eye, it looks like an extremely bright satellite moving very fast.
"You look around and suddenly you see this thing is just chugging across the sky," said David Ingram, member of the Seattle Astronomical Society. who follows the trajectory of the station Tuesday night. "It's pretty spectacular when it's nearly 300 miles above our heads and it's still in the sunshine while we're in the dark here."
The reflected light makes the space station one of the brightest things in the night sky with the planet Jupiter. And that means it's visible from virtually everywhere.
"That's the beauty of it," said Ingram. "You could see it from downtown Seattle."
The space station, which travels around every 90 minutes, allows spectators to enjoy their free time. Each transit takes between three and six minutes.
You can enter your location on multiple websites to find a list of transit start times and the sky to focus your attention. One of the simplest applications is the NASA Spot the Station website (https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/home.cfm)
Another source is Heavens-Above.com.
For Seattle, there are promising windows: Wednesday, May 23 at 10:25 pm; Thursday, May 24, 9:33 pm and 11:10 am; and Friday, May 25, 10:17 and 11:54
The track changes slightly each night. In general, the station for the Puget Sound area will appear somewhere to the west and move to the east. Sometimes the bright spot disappears as it moves into the shadows of the earth.
With binoculars – and a steady hand – it is possible to see some features on the station, Ingram said. Even better is a telescope that can offer much more detailed views.
A Seattle resident has actually spent twice on the International Space Station. Former Microsoft boss Charles Simonyi paid $ 25 million for a 14-day stay in 2007. He liked it so much that he returned in 2009.
Six astronauts and cosmonauts are currently on board the station's 55th expedition, which includes thunder and lightning studies and the effects of microgravity on the bone marrow. On Thursday it is expected that the crew will meet with the Orbital ATK Cygnus probe, which was launched on Monday.
The payload includes an independent experiment by researchers from Washington State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to study plant growth and metabolism in weightlessness with the hope of helping future astronauts grow plants for food and energy ,
WSU scientists are also working on a second Cygnus space probe experiment designed to study atomic clouds at temperatures colder than anything on Earth.