Space Shuttle Atlantis and the ISS fly across the night sky shortly after undocking back on November 25, 2009. Photo by Ethan Tweedie of Pottsboro, Texas via SpaceWeather.com.
Catching flyovers of the International Space Station is one of my favorite hobbies. There is something about being able to watch that gleaming vehicle glide across the sky like a super-bright star, knowing there are people living and working up there at this very moment. Even better is catching a flyover just before or just after the Shuttle has docked or undocked from the ISS. The vehicles appear to almost chase each other across the sky — it’s quite a sight. You’ll have the chance to catch this special view this weekend. From SpaceWeather.com:
Space shuttle Endeavour’s two-week mission to the ISS is almost finished. The two spaceships are scheduled to undock tonight, Feb. 19th, at 7:54 p.m. EST. This is good news for sky watchers, because there’s nothing prettier than two bright spaceships traveling side-by-side through the night sky:
The Hayden Planetarium web site has great information on what parts of the country will have the best viewing opportunities and how to spot the vehicles in the sky. I highly recommend checking it out. You can also check out various phone apps that track sighting opportunities based on your location. I check our listings often, and love running out into the street for the brief encounters with the ISS in the sky. Though I think my neighbors are starting to wonder about me ….