Great Livermore Space Station Sightings This Week!

International Space Station [Image via Nasa]

International Space Station
Image: NASA

Hi space fans. We’re in for a treat with some great International Space Station (ISS) sightings over Livermore this week.

As an added bonus, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is launching the H-II Transfer Vehicle “KOUNOTORI”4 (HTV4) this afternoon to deliver supplies to the station. That means space ships galore! You’ll get to see, not only the ISS pass overhead, but also bonus sightings of the transfer vehicle.

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See LLNL’s NIF in Star Trek: Into Darkness

Star Trek: Into Darkness Movie PosterThis weekend the new Star Trek movie opened and while the new reboot of the franchise will never be the same as TOS or TNG, I’m still a huge fan. Yes, I’m a big sci-fi geek and I’m sure my name helped influence it a little bit, but I just can’t pass up catching Star Trek: Into Darkness on opening day, especially at the Livermore Cinemas.

Why watch it in Livermore you ask?

WARNING, NON-PLOT RELATED SPOILER AFTER THE BREAK !!!

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Many Great Space Station Sightings Over Livermore This Week

Over the next several days there are several opportunities to see the International Space Station pass over the Bay Area and be viewed from Livermore. The best sighting for the station will be tonight at 9:02 for a 3 minute sighting directly overhead. It’ll appear over Mt Diablo, fly right over us, and set in the southeast. See the graphic below marked in blue.

We’re in for an extra treat as the Progress cargo ship can also be seen twice as well as five ISS sightings over the next several days

But hold on to your seats, Thursday night look northeast over the Altamont. At 8:13 pm the Space Station will pass over for 2 1/2 minutes at 45 degrees up appearing in northeast, setting in the east. 4 minutes later at 8:20 pm, Progress will appear northeast over Mt. Diablo and seem to fly right overhead as it sets southeast. See the sightings marked in red.

There are more sighting opportunities this week as you can see below in the snapshot I took from NASA’s Sighting Opportunities page.

ISS Progress Sightings

(These sightings are calculated over Livermore. If you’re somewhere else, the times and opportunities will be different. Just go to the NASA page and find your city to get them for your area.)

See the International Space Station at 9:57pm Tonight

Snapshot from NASA SkyWatch

Snapshot from NASA SkyWatch

The International Space Station (ISS) will be visible tonight from Livermore at 9:57pm and be visible for about 50 seconds. Look North-North-West and up about 25 degrees (0 = the horizon, 90 = straight up) and you’ll see it rise up and to the right. It’ll be the brightest object in the sky except the moon. If you have a good set of binoculars and a steady hand, you might be able to make out some details if you’re able to track it.

Be sure and wave to the 3 astronauts and 3 cosmonauts living 230 miles up there. But wave fast as they are moving proximity 17,227 miles per hour, so you’ll only have about 50 seconds to see them.

Would you like to receive text or email alerts a few hours before the ISS passes over? Head on over to http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ where you can sign up.

Enjoy!