International Space Station

The International Space Station is passing over Maryland this week. (NASA / December 11, 2012)

There are three prime opportunities to see the International Space Station fly over Baltimore over the next week. For those who saw its last pass-over in October, the show should be just as spectacular.

In each case, look for a bright light more brilliant than a star but more distant than a plane, zipping steadily across the sky. You'll know it when you see it.

  • Tonight, the ISS will appear over the southwest horizon at 6:39 p.m., though it will be a brief show and could be obscured by clouds. The station will move northward in the sky before disappearing behind the earth's shadow at 6:42 p.m.
  • Wednesday night, the ISS will be at its brightest, appearing on the southwest horizon at 5:49 p.m. This time it will be moving toward the northeast, disappearing just before it reaches the east-northeast horizon at 5:54 p.m. The bright star near the point at which the ISS disappears is Jupiter.
  • Friday offers a third chance, at 5:45 p.m. Look to the west-southwest, and the ISS will again be moving toward the northeast, disappearing from view at 5:50 p.m.

Clear skies are in the forecast for Wednesday and Friday nights, so set yourself a reminder to go outside and take a look.

A new mission aboard the space station began in October. NASA astronaut Kevin Ford is the new commander, leading a crew that includes on other NASA astronaut, three Russian cosmonauts and a Canadian Space Agency astronaut. Read more about the crew on NASA's website.

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