Discovery and ISS Docking Visible this Weekend August 28, 2009Posted by baldricman in astronomy, News.
Tags: discovery, docking, international space station, ISS, planetarium, south africa, visible
Thanks to Allen for sending me an excerpt from the JHB Planetarium newsletter, telling us about the docking of the space shuttle Discovery, to the International Space Station, on Sunday. And, it should be visible from South Africa.
The International Space Station (ISS) passes directly over South Africa on Sunday evening (Aug 30th) – possibly accompanied by the shuttle Discovery! Discovery is scheduled to launch Friday evening (SA time) to deliver crew and equipment to the orbiting station, but has been delayed twice this week due to a technical problem.
The orbit of the ISS takes it over southern Africa a few times each month. On Sunday, it passes directly over Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Gauteng, moving towards Zimbabwe. Start looking for it at about 6:48pm if you’re near Cape Town, 6:51pm for Gauteng. Look towards the south-west, for a very bright “star” that is moving slowly up over your head, if you are under the path of the ISS. If you’re to the north of the path, the ISS will appear in the south-south-west, and will move upwards across the sky to your left. If you’re to the south of the path, the ISS will appear in the west-south-west, and will move upwards across the sky to your right.
Below is an image from the Planetarium website, showing the path of the ISS (click the image to see the full version):