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Early risers can catch view of International Space Station today

  • NASA
    Flying 225 nautical miles above the Hawaiian Ridge in the North Pacific Ocean, one of the crew members on the International Space Station photographed this oblique panorama showing many of the islands in the Hawaiian chain in 2014.
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Early risers, weather permitting, will get a prime view of the passing International Space Station, the first of two chances Tuesday. 

The station rises in the northwest at 5:44 a.m. and climbs high above the nearly full moon in the west. 

Just past 5:47 a.m., it will pass just under Orion the Hunter, recognizable by the three stars in his belt, and then under Orion’s faithful companion, Canis Major, at 5:48 a.m. 

It will set in the southeast about two minutes later. 

Sharing the sky with the space station will be Venus, Mars and Jupiter, tightly clustered above the eastern horizon. 

The station is visible typically just before dawn and just after sunset when it is illuminated by the sun against the darker sky. This morning it will shine at magnitude minus 3.3 — brighter than Mars (minus 1.8) and Jupiter (minus 1.7) but not as bright as Venus (minus 4.5). It is also brighter than Sirius in Canis Major — the brightest star in the sky at minus 1.46. 

Tuesday evening, the space station rises in the south at 7:04 p.m. and moves to the left, low on the horizon, until it blinks out of sight just past 7:07 p.m. in the east. From parts of Kapiolani Park, it will appear to pass over Diamond Head. 

It will rise to 22 degrees, about a quarter of the way up the sky.

It will be significantly dimmer than this morning’s pass, at minus 2, but will still be brighter than Saturn, which is very near the left claw of Scorpius just above the southwest horizon. 

The space station is currently 249 miles up, traveling at 17,150 mph, or nearly 5 miles per second. Aboard are two Americans, Scott Kelly and Dr. Kjell Lindgren, three Russians and a Japanese.

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