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Great Views of ISS for Pacific NW, Portland and Oregon Coast

Published 07/19/2019 at 3:53 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Great Views of ISS for Pacific NW, Portland and Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – Even the Oregon coast can get in on this act – and it's truly a high-flying one.

There's so much going on July 20 when it comes to space: the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon, and a new trio of astronauts launch from Russia and come aboard the International Space Station.

However, those in Oregon will get to see a spectacular flyover of the ISS that day around 9:46 p.m. and then again at 11:23 p.m. and that includes the Oregon coast. Jim Todd, OMSI's Director of Space Science Education, said they will be bright and among the best flyovers for Portland and the rest of the state.

“The flyovers will be at a bright magnitude of -3 (equaling the brightness of Venus) and visible for a duration of 6 minutes,” Todd said.

While the information and times he sent out was more for Portland, Todd said viewing on the Oregon coast will be “excellent” as well.

“Anytime ISS is higher than 45 degrees, great opportunity for viewing,” Todd said. “Very dependent on weather always.”

Luckily, weather is predicted to be cooperating that night, as a heatwave moves into the Portland area.

For Portland, the first sighting of the ISS happens at 9:46 p.m., and the space station will be moving W to NW with a maximum height of 80 degrees NW.

It happens again at a lower magnitude of -1.7, starting at 11:23 p.m., moving W to SW. Maximum height will be below Polaris at 29 degrees N.

Times will be different on the Oregon coast by a few minutes, see https://spotthestation.nasa.gov. For instance, in Newport the first sighting comes into view about 9:42, four minutes earlier than Portland. For the second sighting, it's three minutes earlier.

Those times will likely differ up and down the entire coastline.

“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 ISS is as big as a football field and becomes visible because of sunlight reflecting off its metallic modules and the massive solar panels.

“To the unaided eye it appears as a very bright point of light generally traveling from west to east that does not twinkle and moving against the stars in the background,” Todd said. “As to just how bright it should get, it should be plainly visible even from your own backyard.”

Weather on the coastline will be very accommodating, barring any sudden changes. Saturday will be sunny with a near 71, and the evening will be mostly clear with a low around 55 mph. North winds may be somewhat brisk at six to 10 mph. Sunday, which may be around 90 degrees in Portland, will be a pleasant 68 on the coast. Oregon Coast Hotels for this event - Where to eat - Map - Virtual Tour

More photos of the ISS below; more Oregon coast at night.











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