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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

 

Christmas Week ISS passes, (19 December - 25 December 2017)

The ISS passes above Orion, as seen from Melbourne on the evening of Thursday 21 December at 21:44 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS through Orion, as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Thursday 21 December at 21:16 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes passes above Orion, as seen from Perth on the evening of Thursday 21 December at 21:44 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Thursday 21 December for Melbourne.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Thursday 21 December for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Thursday 21 December for Perth.

Starting Wednesday 20th there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station lasting until Christmas. Some are low to the horizon, some rapidly enter earth's shadow, but for many places in Australia this series has the ISS gliding either close to or through Orion or a series of bright stars (except Darwin, which only gets three bright evening passes low above the horizon).

On the Morning of December 25th, there is a couple of bright Passes of the ISS close to variously Sirius, the Southern Cross or Orion, depending on your location. If you are up feeding Santa's reindeer go have a look.
 
The following tables are from data provided from Heavens Above.

Passes from Adelaide

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
20 Dec-3.922:05:0110°NW22:08:1986°NE22:11:4010°SEvisible
20 Dec-0.323:43:3510°SW23:45:1313°SSW23:46:5010°Svisible
21 Dec-1.104:35:5710°SSW04:38:4023°SSE04:41:2310°Evisible
21 Dec-3.321:13:0010°NNW21:16:0637°NE21:19:1110°ESEvisible
21 Dec-1.022:50:0610°W22:52:3920°SSW22:55:1310°SSEvisible
22 Dec-0.403:44:1310°S03:46:0814°SSE03:48:0310°ESEvisible
22 Dec-3.905:19:3810°SW05:22:5670°NW05:26:1210°NEvisible
22 Dec-2.021:57:0710°WNW22:00:1135°SW22:03:1710°SSEvisible
23 Dec-3.004:27:2010°SW04:30:3653°SE04:33:5010°ENEvisible
23 Dec-3.521:04:3010°NW21:07:4773°SW21:11:0610°SEvisible
23 Dec-0.222:43:4210°SW22:44:4611°SSW22:45:5110°Svisible
24 Dec-1.603:35:1510°SSW03:38:1027°SE03:41:0410°Evisible
24 Dec-2.705:11:5010°WSW05:14:3424°NW05:17:1610°Nvisible
24 Dec-0.621:49:5110°WSW21:52:0917°SSW21:54:2710°SSEvisible
25 Dec-0.802:43:2310°SSW02:45:3917°SSE02:47:5210°ESEvisible
25 Dec-3.804:19:0510°WSW04:22:2052°NW04:25:3210°NNEvisible

Passes from Brisbane

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
20 Dec-4.019:59:3810°NW20:02:5478°NE20:06:1210°SEvisible
21 Dec-1.704:09:3210°SSW04:12:3332°SE04:15:3410°ENEvisible
21 Dec-3.019:07:4510°N19:10:4030°NE19:13:3710°ESEvisible
21 Dec-0.620:45:0210°W20:47:1016°SW20:49:2010°Svisible
22 Dec-0.503:17:5410°S03:20:0716°SE03:22:1910°Evisible
22 Dec-1.819:51:4410°WNW19:54:4331°SW19:57:4410°SSEvisible
23 Dec-3.904:01:0310°SW04:04:2275°NW04:07:3810°NEvisible
24 Dec-2.603:08:5110°SSW03:12:0143°SE03:15:1110°ENEvisible
24 Dec-0.319:45:0210°WSW19:46:4013°SW19:48:1810°Svisible
25 Dec-1.102:17:0010°S02:19:3520°SE02:22:0810°Evisible
25 Dec-2.603:53:2110°WSW03:55:5822°NW03:58:3310°Nvisible


Passes from Melbourne

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
20 Dec-0.201:08:4110°SSW01:09:3011°SSW01:10:1910°Svisible
20 Dec-0.704:22:2810°SSW04:24:5418°SSE04:27:1910°ESEvisible
20 Dec-3.722:36:3610°NW22:39:5475°SW22:43:1510°SEvisible
21 Dec-0.500:15:0010°SW00:16:5214°SSW00:18:4610°SSEvisible
21 Dec-0.403:30:3910°S03:32:1913°SSE03:34:0010°SEvisible
21 Dec-3.205:06:0210°SW05:09:2163°SE05:12:3810°ENEvisible
21 Dec-3.721:44:2510°NNW21:47:3851°NE21:50:5310°ESEvisible
21 Dec-1.023:21:4410°WSW23:24:1920°SSW23:26:5310°SSEvisible
22 Dec0.002:39:3010°S02:39:4010°SSE02:39:5110°SSEvisible
22 Dec-1.904:13:5310°SW04:16:5833°SSE04:20:0110°Evisible
22 Dec-1.822:28:4710°W22:31:4832°SSW22:34:5110°SSEvisible
23 Dec-1.003:21:5010°SSW03:24:2821°SSE03:27:0510°Evisible
23 Dec-3.604:57:5310°WSW05:01:0748°NW05:04:1810°NNEvisible
23 Dec-3.121:36:0610°WNW21:39:2358°SW21:42:4110°SEvisible
23 Dec-0.323:14:5110°SW23:16:2613°SSW23:18:0210°Svisible
24 Dec-0.502:29:5510°SSW02:31:5315°SSE02:33:5010°ESEvisible
24 Dec-3.804:05:2810°SW04:08:4980°SE04:12:0710°NEvisible
24 Dec-0.622:21:2710°WSW22:23:4818°SSW22:26:1010°SSEvisible
25 Dec-0.201:38:1510°S01:39:1311°SSE01:40:1010°SSEvisible
25 Dec-2.503:13:1410°SW03:16:2540°SE03:19:3410°ENEvisible
25 Dec-2.404:50:1710°W04:52:4018°NW04:55:0210°Nvisible
25 Dec-1.321:28:2110°W21:31:1427°SSW21:34:0910°SSEvisibl


Passes from Perth

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
19 Dec-1.520:24:0510°N20:24:1311°N20:24:1311°Nvisible
19 Dec-1.322:04:2020°S22:04:2020°S22:05:4810°SSEvisible
20 Dec-1.504:31:2210°SSW04:34:2030°SE04:37:1810°ENEvisible
20 Dec-3.121:07:1710°WNW21:10:3156°SW21:13:4810°SEvisible
21 Dec-0.503:39:3810°S03:41:5217°SE03:44:0610°ESEvisible
21 Dec-3.920:14:5910°NW20:18:1461°NE20:21:3110°SEvisible
21 Dec-0.321:53:2310°WSW21:54:5913°SSW21:56:3710°Svisible
22 Dec-3.804:22:5310°SW04:26:1386°SE04:29:3010°NEvisible
22 Dec-1.020:59:4810°W21:02:2822°SW21:05:0810°SSEvisible
23 Dec-2.203:30:4310°SSW03:33:5138°SE03:36:5710°ENEvisible
23 Dec-2.320:06:5110°WNW20:10:0042°SW20:13:1210°SSEvisible
24 Dec-1.002:38:5010°SSW02:41:2320°SE02:43:5610°Evisible
24 Dec-3.004:14:5610°WSW04:17:5229°NW04:20:4710°NNEvisible
24 Dec-0.120:53:3610°SW20:54:3111°SSW20:55:2410°SSWvisible
25 Dec-0.301:47:2810°S01:48:4812°SSE01:50:0910°SEvisible
25 Dec-4.003:22:1810°SW03:25:3771°NW03:28:5210°NEvisible
25 Dec-0.719:59:3110°W20:01:5418°SW20:04:1810°Svisible

Passes from Sydney


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
20 Dec-0.504:24:3310°S04:26:3916°SSE04:28:4410°ESEvisible
20 Dec-2.921:01:0310°N21:03:5527°NE21:06:4810°ESEvisible
20 Dec-1.322:37:3810°W22:40:2223°SW22:43:0810°SSEvisible
21 Dec-3.305:07:4610°SW05:11:0566°SE05:14:2110°NEvisible
21 Dec-2.621:44:4610°WNW21:47:5744°SW21:51:0910°SEvisible
22 Dec-1.804:15:4110°SSW04:18:4232°SE04:21:4210°ENEvisible
22 Dec-3.920:52:1810°NW20:55:3684°NE20:58:5610°SEvisible
22 Dec-0.222:31:0310°SW22:32:2912°SSW22:33:5510°Svisible
23 Dec-0.803:23:4810°SSW03:26:1318°SSE03:28:3710°Evisible
23 Dec-3.404:59:4010°WSW05:02:4940°NW05:05:5510°NNEvisible
23 Dec-0.821:37:2410°W21:39:5419°SSW21:42:2510°SSEvisible
24 Dec-0.202:32:2410°S02:33:3712°SSE02:34:5010°SEvisible
24 Dec-3.904:07:1210°SW04:10:3287°SE04:13:4910°NEvisible
24 Dec-1.820:44:2010°WNW20:47:2434°SW20:50:2910°SSEvisible
25 Dec-2.403:15:0010°SSW03:18:0940°SE03:21:1710°ENEvisible
25 Dec-2.104:52:2710°W04:54:2014°NW04:56:1310°NNWvisible
25 Dec-0.121:31:1610°SW21:31:5810°SSW21:32:4010°SSWvisible
26 Dec-0.502:22:5910°SSW02:23:1712°SSW02:23:1712°SSWvisible
26 Dec-0.620:37:0610°WSW20:39:1817°SSW20:41:3310°Svisible
   
When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location, a small difference in location can mean the difference between the ISS passing over a star or missing it completely.
 
Start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. Use the most recent prediction for your site.

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