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News – Saturday morning is early? See the Space Station!


OUT OF THIS WORLD | Between the Earth, Space and Everything – a daily journey through air, space and science with meteorology / science writer Scott Sutherland

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist / Science Writer

November 9, 2018, 3:46 PM – Hey, south Ontario! If you get up early on Saturday morning, turn your eyes to the sky for one of the best chances to fly the International Space Station overhead!

Predawn has plenty of nice things to see in the sky – planets, stars, comets, meteor rains and even the Milky Way – but there is something to say about look and see. something we put there!

It is a great time to experience this in southern Ontario on Saturday, November 10, for those who watch early in the morning. Because the International Space Station is building a bridge.

They'll show up at ET's for about 6:07 hours on the northwestern horizon, depending on where you're going, they'll appear between four and six minutes and then disappear beyond the southeastern horizon.


The International Space Station has a very different shape. Astronauts who visit the station begin to see it in all its glory.

Space Shuttle Atlantis as seen in 2010 from the International Space Station. Credits: NASA

When viewed through a telescope, observers often compare it to a TIE Fighter from Star Wars.

However, during one of these flies, when passing through the overhead end without using a telescope, the station will appear as a small bright circle of light moving at a constant speed in the sky, as shown in the animation below. .

This animation shows what the Space Station looks like from the Earth with the naked eye. The animation is accelerated about two or three times normally, and the brightness reflects the conditions under the clear, dark sky away from sources of light pollution. Credits: Stellarium / Scott Sutherland


This Space Station bridge will be centered on Georgian Bay, Peterborough and Trenton. So, in these places, you will travel directly overhead and it will be its brightest.

On November 10, 2018, the way to ISS is passing from southern Ontario at 06:09 to 6:15 am ET. The red arc is the way of ISS. The green line and blue arcs note the viewing area of ​​the live cameras in the ISS. Credits:

But it will stand hundreds of miles on either side of the line.

For anyone observing the west or southwest of the red line followed in the animation above, the station will appear in the northwest and disappear towards the southeast, but will draw a curve along the northeastern part of the sky and be farther away. from the observer line, the slope towards the northeast will strike. Conversely, an observer station will see a southwesterly curve for everyone in the east or northeast of the line.

Track the Space Station as shown in the ISS Detector app for Android. Credit: ISS Detector / Scott Sutherland

The reasons for the calculation of the above examples for Windsor, Toronto, and Belleville are due to the greatest factor that will determine whether an observer has seen the morning – weather – station.

Will the skin be clean?

As with any celestial observation or stargazing activity, cloud cover is the most important factor to consider.

As of Friday afternoon, the forecast for early Saturday morning shows that after active weather on Friday, a clear patch will evolve along the northern parts of southwestern Ontario, Great Toronto Region and eastern Ontario.

However, the exact location of the clouds can evolve overnight, because this air system moves eastward. So check your local prediction before you go out to make sure you have outdoor weather!

Want to see what the ISS has seen over Ontario? Check out live images from space station cameras on the NASA website.

Sources: NASA | |

Teaser image of the space station plane with the ESA's ATV-5 cargo spacecraft, courtesy of the European Space Agency Julien Harrod. Several individual images were stacked to produce this final image, showing stations and cargo ships at many points on their way, all at once. In this way, they appear as long lines between stars instead of just light points.


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