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Astro Bob

Follow The International Space Station To The Land Of The Midnight Sun

16 May 2019, 00:29 UTC
Follow The International Space Station To The Land Of The Midnight Sun
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With a little luck the aurora might put in an appearance in the next few nights as it did when I took this photo of this 30-second time exposure of the space station a few years back. Bob King
The International Space Station (ISS) spreads its wings across both evening and morning skies for northern hemisphere skywatchers this week. Normally, we see one or two passes at dusk or dawn, but twice a year around the solstice, you can see up to five successive appearances a night. Encore, encore!
The first spell happens from May 17-20. A dedicated satellite watcher will to start at dusk and stay up till dawn will see the space station on every one of its 93-minute-long orbits — four or five passes depending on your location. That’s a lot of time under the stars, but what a kick. Southern hemisphere get their turn around their summer solstice between November and January.

How it looks out the windows of the space station around the time of summer solstice. Like seeing the midnight sun in the Arctic summer, the sun never sets at the station.
Diagram showing the Earth in late May when the space station’s ...

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