International Space Station visible from Charlottesville tonight

rpl writes: Courtesy of Edward Murphy, of the UVa Department of Astronomy:

Tonight, Monday, August 20, 2001 at 9:00:00 p.m. there will a great pass of the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle Discovery over Charlottesville and Central Virginia.

To see the ISS, start looking for a slowly moving, very bright star ow in the northwestern sky (azimuth 300) at 8:57 p.m. As it rises up, it will pass between Arcturus and Ursa Major (the Big Dipper). At 9:00:00 p.m. the ISS will pass overhead, and it will disappear into the shadow of the Earth a few minutes later (at 9:02:17 p.m.). When it is at its highest, the ISS will be 419 km away (about 250 miles). It should be brighter than Vega, which is the bright star straight overhead just after sunset.

The Space Shuttle Discovery undocked from the ISS earlier this morning. It should appear about a minute before the ISS following the same track through the sky. However, the shuttle has been maneuvering, and may appear up to 2-3 minutes before the ISS, so go out early.

For more updates, or to generate your own satellite visibility predictions, visit Heavens Above.

That is so elite. So what are the good spots in Charlottesville to star-gaze from?

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