Celebration of Space - October 4, 2019

The International Space Station passes over Providence, RI. Credit: Scott MacNeill

The International Space Station passes over Providence, RI. Credit: Scott MacNeill

With only one week left of evening passes of the International Space Station (ISS) over the US for the current cycle, now is the time to get out and catch a fabulous view. Numerous excellent passes will be happening this week over the Northeast. Here are some of the better passes to see this week:

Fri, Oct 4 at 8:00 pm, starting in the NW, rising to 40°, heading towards the NNE and into Earth’s shadow
Sat, Oct 5, at 7:12 pm, starting in the NW, rising to 28°, heading towards the ENE
Sun, Oct 6 at 8:00 pm, starting in the WNW, rising overhead, heading towards the SSW and into Earth’s shadow
Mon, Oct 7 at 7:11 pm, starting in the NW, rising to 61°, heading towards the ESE and into Earth’s shadow
Tue, Oct 8 at 8:00 pm, starting in the WNW, rising to 26°, heading towards the SSW and into Earth’s shadow
Wed, Oct 9 at 7:11 pm, starting in the WNW, rising to 47°, heading towards the SE

These pass times are specific to Southern New England and are generally applicable to the Northeast. Put these times on your calendar or your alarm clock, so you don’t miss out. While you are at it, read our article on the ISS, which explains why we only see the Station in cycles, instead of all the time. You can catch daily ISS, and other satellite, pass times on the Frosty Drew website. For ISS pass times specific to your location, visit NASAs Spot the Station. Now get out and spot humanity’s only space based residence!

Among all the happenings tomorrow night, Saturday, October 5, 2019, a fabulous conjunctions of the first quarter Moon and Saturn will occur. From sunset until the 11:20 pm moon set, Saturn will sit just less than 1° above the Moon in the sky. Conjunctions happen quite frequently and are the result of either one, or more celestial objects that change their position in the sky on a regular basis. Objects like the Moon and planets. These objects orbit either the Sun or Earth at different rates and will appear to come together when viewing outward from Earth. Aside from putting on a fabulous show for us, they have no cosmic significance. Though occasionally an object like Mars, which is quite red, will end up in conjunction with a star like Regulus or Spica, which are both quite blue, and the colors will contrast, allowing for a vividly colorful view. Conjunctions do happen quite frequently, though they never get old. So take a moment tomorrow night to step out and catch Saturn and the Moon putting on their celestial dance.

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 5, 2019 is International Observe the Moon Night. This is a planet wide celebration of the Moon. Thousands of science institutions, schools, museums, and libraries will be hosting special events tomorrow to showcase Earth’s only natural satellite, the Moon. Frosty Drew Observatory will, of course, join in the celebration, and host a night of special lunar celebrations and activities. Forecasts are looking amazing at this time with clear skies, cool temps, and calm winds set up for us. Our event will run from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, and will include numerous telescopes focused on the Moon. The primary Observatory 16” telescope will showcase the Lunar X, the Lunar V, and other notable regions on the Moon with high magnification. In the Observatory courtyard, we will have a telescope showing a wide field view of the Moon, another telescope showing everything but the Moon, and possibly another telescope with a super wide field view of the Moon. The Lunar Lounge will be setup on the NW side of the Sky Theatre building, and on screen will be a live projection of the Moon in conjunction with Saturn from a telescope. In the Sky Theatre, NASA Solar System Ambassador, Frank Puglia will present about the Moon, with sessions repeating throughout the night. In the Science Center we will have a 12 foot wide panorama of the Apollo 11 Landing Site, photographed by the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) on display. The Observatory 40” panel, as well as other screens around the campus will feature images and videos about the Moon. It will be a fantastic night to be out and certainly a night for anybody who is crazy about the Moon. Check out our event page, then check out the official website for International Observe the Moon Night. We’ll see you all out tomorrow night for a special night under the Moon!


Scott MacNeill
Scott MacNeill
Entry Date:
Oct 4, 2019
Published Under:
Scott MacNeill's Columns
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