Still More International Space Station Viewable Above Portland, Oregon Coast
(Portland, Oregon) – From now through June 21 your chances of sighting the International Space Station above Portland and other parts of Oregon are still pretty good – depending on weather. Above: Cannon Beach, Oregon at night.
A magnitude -3.4 happens on Sunday night at 11:09 p.m., another almost as bright on Monday night at 10:19 p.m., plus another similarly bright one on Wednesday night at 10:18 p.m.. The others are about a magnitude -1.5 or so, until it ends on June 21.
Skies will be clearer in the Portland area and Oregon coast range for the week, but the Oregon coast could get some breaks at night.
The brightness is measured by a magnitude system that was started by the Greeks. The lesser the number, the brighter the object. The full moon is about -12.7, and the ISS tends to be a -2.
OMSI planetarium manager Jim Todd described what we'll see.
“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,” 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. (Above: Cape Foulweather near Depoe Bay)
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.
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 remaining sightings almost directly overhead, and mostly happening around the later part of the evening, before midnight.
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