How to see the International Space Station in the Peninsula's sky tonight
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PDN photographer Keith Thorpe took this photo of a recent pass by the International Space Station. He snapped it from the front lawn of the Olympic National Park Visitor Center in Port Angeles. Exposure was 30 seconds.
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NASA
International Space Station

By Peninsula Daily News staff

PORT ANGELES — Clouds permitting, you can see the International Space Station tonight.

A bright speck of light that will move quickly across the sky, the ISS will zoom over the North Olympic Peninsula (and most Puget Sound locations, from Seattle north) for four minutes beginning at 9:15 p.m.

It will cross low from the west to the south-southeast at a maximum height of 25 degrees.

It also will appear for two minutes Saturday — also beginning at 9:15 p.m. — moving at a very low 11 degrees from west-southwest to south-southwest.

The ISS is easy to see with the naked eye — it is the third brightest object in the sky and looks like a fast-moving plane — but is dozens of times higher than any airplane and travels thousands of miles an hour faster.

Because of its speed, telescopes are not practical. But NASA says that a good pair of field binoculars may reveal some detail of the structural shape of the spacecraft, which is the size of a football field and weighs 924,739 pounds.

The ISS is finishing up a series of passes that brought it over our region this month.

For more news about the space station and to sign up for email alerts on when the station will next be in our Peninsula skies, click on the ISS section of the NASA website, http://tinyurl.com/pdn-spacestation.

This lone space outpost of humanity has been continuously inhabited since 2000.

Six men currently live there: three Russians, two Americans and one German.

The ISS is supported by 15 nations and five space programs, but NASA and the other station partners have relied on Russia to ferry astronauts and supplies to the ISS since 2011 when the U.S. space shuttle program was mothballed.

On Monday, two of the Russians went outside the ISS on a spacewalk and launched a 2-pound Peruvian research satellite.

The satellite is part of a technological learning experience for the National University of Engineering in Lima. A Russian cargo ship delivered the device earlier this year.

After the tiny satellite was set loose on its mission to observe Earth, the two Russians finished the five-hour spacewalk by installing fresh science experiments outside the station and retrieving old ones.

Last modified: August 21. 2014 12:24AM
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