For much of this month the US Midwest will be in line for daily passes of the International Space Station. This orbiting spacecraft is so large and reflective that it can be seen with the naked eye from earth. The pass I captured for Saturday April 7th was during the morning however, beginning Monday, the passes will mostly be in the evening. The scene below is comprised of 13 images spanning over a brief 5 minute period and shows the departing spacecraft as it disappears over the SE horizon (locals might recognize the steam plumes as coming from ADM/Staley's of Decatur IL). To have this aeronautical marvel of science and engineering slice across a night sky scene is an inspiring example of our space program. Appearing like a star canvassing the heavens that is the magnitude of Venus, for this coming week in particular, a number of long passes up to six minutes in length are expected. You can track local flyby times, length, and direction of travel for your area by visiting NASA's Human Space Flight page found HERE.
To learn more about the International Space Station including current missions as well as history and images, click HERE.