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Space station set for spectacular pass over Oahu Friday night

By Jim Borg

LAST UPDATED: 11:59 p.m. HST, Dec 05, 2013

If skies are clear -- and the National Weather Service says they should be -- the International Space Station will make a vivid pass over Honolulu Friday evening.

The space station rises in the southwest about 6:47 p.m. and should be visible a few minutes later, according to heavens-above.com.

The bright moving dot will clip Venus in the southwestern sky just before 6:51 p.m. and pass to the right of a very thin crescent moon about 30 seconds later.

It reaches its highest point just before 6:53 p.m. in the west-northwest, about twice as high as the star Vega in the constellation Lyra. Vega is the brightest star in the sky at the time (the fifth brightest overall), but the space station will be many times brighter.

The space station will then pass under the constellation Cassiopeia, which looks like a flattened M, before blinking out of sight in the northeast just after 6:54 p.m.

Sunset is at 5:49 p.m., so the sky will still have a glow to it, but the space station will be easily visible if the weather cooperates. It does not blink like an airplane with landing lights on, and moves at a steady pace without sound.

The light is reflected sunlight, so the brightness will change slightly with its angle in the sky.

The space station is 230 miles up, moving at 17,000 mph.

Currently on board, as part of Expedition 38, which ends in March, are Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Oleg Kotov, mission commander; Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, and NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Mike Hopkins.

For more information on the pass, go to http://www.heavens-above.com/.

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HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Wiliki I wish u would u comment here rather than spreading ur gospel elsewhere.
on December 6,2013 | 12:32AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
When they return to Earth, do their legs wobble, lol ?
on December 6,2013 | 12:33AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
When they return to Earth, do their legs wobble, lol ?
on December 6,2013 | 12:34AM
Mike174 wrote:
Will the Chinese be on board next?
on December 6,2013 | 06:39AM
NoFlippinWay wrote:
From Waikiki beach, we saw it appear right below Venus and it disappeared behind the clouds before catching a glimpse of it again as it passed the moon. It looked like an orange dot as it travelled pretty quickly above us.
on December 6,2013 | 09:15PM
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