Thursday October 8 2020
Two sky shows this evening will present themselves at roughly the same time. We can take advantage of the mostly clear sky, seasonable temperatures, and early evening time slot. Yes, this is NOT late night, but shortly after sunset.
The International Space Station (ISS) Flyover caps off a great week of shows, plus the Dragon Meteor Shower that would make Khaleesi proud.
Both present just after sunset, starting from the Northwest and passing almost directly overhead.
Space Station Flyover
Sunset in Baltimore is at 6:37 PM. The show will begin shortly after at 7:01 PM. That is when ISS will appear in the Northwest sky. This is 7 minute flyover before passing off to the Southeast and ended at 7:08 PM.
The peak will be at 7:05 PM at an elevation around 70º above the horizon to the south, but honestly it will feel like it is nearly directly overhead!
The International Space Station will appear like a fast moving plane with a very bright steady light, but no blinking lights.
LIVE NASA Video Stream
You will be able to see it with your own eyes, but binoculars may help you identify some of the solar panels and central structure. I don’t recommend a telescope since it will be moving pretty fast. Check out these stats:
- Orbital speed: 17,000 mph
- Complete Orbit = 92.65 minutes
- Orbits per day: 15.54
- Days in orbit: 17 years, 26 days
- Altitude: Ranges between 249 and 256 miles above the ground
- Origin: The first component was launched in 1998
- Occupied since November 2, 2000. This year will be the 20th anniversary!
Draconoid Meteor Shower
This is a modest little meteor shower, that at times has surprised with an active display of shooting stars. In 2011 it gave European observers 600 shooting starts in an hour.
This one is special because it will be in the evening, not a typical late night viewing.
What: This is from the 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, that orbits the sun every 6 years and four months. This will be emanating from the constellation Draco, The Dragon.
Where: Northwest to Overhead. Close to the start of the ISS flyover. It might be easier to spot the Big Dipper near the horizon and the Little Dipper above it. Keep sliding your eye ‘up’ for Draco.
Explore More about this meteor shower at EarthSky.org
Help Solve The Mystery
14 Local Maryland Pages (and York PA)
We have made a page for Maryland Weather which gives you the current conditions for 14 present area locations. Many of these match up with the spots on our route. Please use this list below are reference. I will include them daily with my articles on the kids.
Maryland Weather Page
I wanted to keep it simple. Just the basics for a quick view at any time.
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