Appearance of International Space Station Above Portland, Oregon, the Coast
(Portland, Oregon) – From now through June 21 your chances of sighting the International Space Station above Portland and other parts of Oregon are really good. OMSI planetarium manager Jim Todd said two of the best occur tonight and tomorrow night around 10:30 p.m.. Both flyovers will be at bright magnitude of -3 (equals the brightness of Venus) and visible for duration of 7 minutes. (Above: Oceanside at night)
Todd said the first appearance happens Wednesday, June 5, starting at 10:30 p.m., with the ISS heading west-southwest to east-northeast.
The second appearance will be on Thursday, June 6 at 9:41 pm, with ISS appearing from SW, visible at 52 degrees SE and then disappears in ENE.
“Depending on your location on the Earth's surface, the spacecraft's position in orbit and the time of day, you may be able to see the International Space Station as they orbit about 240 miles above the planet,” Todd said. “ It always amazes people when they are told that they can actually see the Space Station, orbiting at 17,500 mph above Earth, with their own two eyes; no optical aid is needed.”
Todd said the spacecraft is as big as a football field, and becomes more visible when sunlight glints off the metallic modules and gigantic black panels. The unaided eye will see only a very bright point of light traveling from east to west, but it doesn't twinkle.
“As to just how bright it should get, it should be plainly visible even from your own backyard,” Todd said.
Currently occupying the craft are NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Russian Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano. They bordered on Wednesday, May 29. It is called Expedition 36.
Science experts suggest to get away from city lights.
Skies will be clearer in the Portland area and Oregon coast range for the next two days, but the coast clears up again later in the week. Wednesday night's conditions look to be for increasing clouds in both areas, but that doesn't mean it will be impossible to see.
Good vantage points along the coastline away from city lights include most beaches that are darkly lit. Other viewing suggestions: Neahakhnie Overlooks at Manzanita, Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach, most dark beaches at Seaside or Pacific City, Cape Foulweather or Boiler Bay near Depoe Bay, Road's End or Siletz Bay in Lincoln City, or much of the 804 Trail along Yachats.
You can see the approximate schedule for Porltand sightings here. Many of the other sightings will happen a little more to the north than straight overhead, and they tend not to be as bright. But they are visibile in the middle of the night as well.
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