Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 48

FEBRUARY 2021 OBSERVING
Celestial Calendar by Bob King

Australian imager Dylan O'Donnell
created this remarkable photo of the
International Space Station transiting the Moon on June 28, 2017. He
used a C9.25 SCT and composited
seven frames made with a Canon
70D DSLR camera set to ISO 1800
and a shutter speed of 1/1600 second.

Catch an
ISS Transit
Being in the right place at
(exactly) the right time pays
exciting dividends.
48

FEBRUARY 2 021 * SK Y & TELESCOPE

T

he International Space Station is
often one of the brightest objects
in the night sky. Many of us enjoy its
regular appearances during morning
and evening twilight when it passes
silently across the sky, ferrying its
human cargo at more than 27,600
kilometers (17,100 miles) per hour. The
space station makes evening passes
during the first week of February, then

returns to the dawn sky towards the
end of the month. For current pass
times tailored to your location, go to
heavens-above.com or google up a free
app such as ISS Spotter (iPhone) and ISS
Detector (Android).
Much less frequently, the ISS transits
across the face of the Moon or Sun.
Such events are quite rare because the
disks of the Moon and Sun are only ½°
across. As a result, the track of visibility is a narrow one that requires the
observer to be in precisely the right spot
at the right time. Thanks to the website
ISS Transit Finder (transit-finder.com),
you can easily get a 30-day forecast of
lunar and solar ISS transits visible in
your area in just seconds.
Visit the site and set your precise
latitude and longitude manually, or by
clicking either " Auto-detect " or " Select
from map. " Next, set your preferred
time interval using the calendar feature,
choose how far you're willing to travel
to get to the transit center line, then
press " Calculate. " A list of upcoming events pops up along with details
including the space station's path (with
near misses included), transit time, and
distance to the center line, where the
ISS will appear to transit directly across
the center of the Moon or Sun.
If you don't see a transit listed for
your location during the specified time
frame, click the " Show on Map " button.
The red pin gives your location, and the
green pin indicates the closest site the
center line crosses. Sometimes a transit
is just a half-hour drive away.
During a typical transit, the silhouette of the ISS spans about one arc-


http://www.heavens-above.com http://www.transit-finder.com

Sky & Telescope - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky & Telescope - February 2021

Contents
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover1
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover2
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 1
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Contents
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 3
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 4
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 5
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 6
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 7
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - 8
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Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover3
Sky & Telescope - February 2021 - Cover4
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