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Skywatch for Aug. 1-7: Watch for the ISS Sunday night

Skywatch for Aug. 1-7: Watch for the ISS Sunday night

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Sunday: Tonight the International Space Station Makes a bright pass in the sky. The ISS starts off in the northwest at 9:39 p.m. Three minutes later it is 54 degrees above the northeast horizon. The space station the passes through the center of Cygnus the Swan before disappearing into the Earth’s shadow 27 degrees above the horizon.

Monday: Saturn today reaches opposition with the Sun.

The planet will rise just as the Sun sets and will be at about its brightest. Saturn is about 20 degrees west of Jupiter, and though the planet is at its brightest, it is 10 times fainter than Jupiter.

Tuesday: Later this month, the Perseids meteor shower reaches its peak, located in the constellation of Perseus. The Hero’s horse, Pegasus, is not far from Perseus and is just over the eastern horizon at 10 p.m. Pegasus was born out of the ocean, and when the constellation is near the horizon it appears as if the winged horse emerges from the ocean.

The head of the horse extends from the southern end of the square and the front legs from the northern corner of the square.

Wednesday: The International Space Station makes a very high pass through the sky this evening.

The space station begins its trek across the sky at 8:54 p.m. Three minutes later the ISS is close to directly overhead. By 9 p.m. the spacecraft is 10 degrees above the southeast horizon.

Thursday: Tomorrow morning the thin crescent moon is near the bright star Pollux.

At 6 a.m., Pollux is 5 degrees to the north of the Moon.

Friday: During twilight tonight the International Space Station makes a low but bright appearance in the western sky. The space station starts off 10 degrees above the west-northwest horizon at 8:57 p.m. One minute later it passes a few degrees above the planet Venus, before reaching its apex of 22 degrees above the southwestern horizon at 9 p.m. By 9:02, the ISS is 10 degrees above the southern horizon and just below the tail of Scorpius the scorpion.

Saturday: The constellation of Sagittarius sits within the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy. Binoculars or a telescope aimed at this region of the sky reveal many more stars than could be seen with the unaided eye. One of the brighter star clusters is M28 a globular cluster similar to the Hercules cluster further north.

M28 is located to the upper right of the star that marks the tip of the Teapot’s lid. The best way to see this cluster is with a telescope.

— Chris Pagan

-- Chris Pagan


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