Looking for the International Space Station flying overhead is one of my favorite space-related pastimes. But for a couple of evenings (or early mornings, depending where you are) starting on Wednesday, June 11 you can see two spacecraft for the price of one. Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station on Wednesday morning, June 11th, at 7:42 am EDT. This means some sky watchers will be able to see both spaceships flying in tandem. They’ll be seen as separate but closely-spaced points of light. Double flybys will continue on Thursday the 12th and to a lesser extent on Friday the 13th, with Discovery scheduled to land on Saturday. Southeastern parts of the United States (e.g., Miami and Atlanta) are favored with some especially good viewing, depending, of course, on cloud cover.
To find out if you’ll be able to see spaceships in your area, there are a few different sites to check out:
Spaceweather.com, has a Satellite Tracker Tool. Just put in your zip code (good for the US and Canada) to find out what satellites will be flying over your house.
NASA has a Skywatch page where you can find your specific city to look for satellite sighting info.
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Heaven’s Above also has a city search, but also you can input your exact latitude and longitude for exact sighting information, helpful if you live out in the country.
Seeing the two spacecraft flying closely in tandem is a very unique and thrilling sight. Good luck!
And if you like the image above, it is from the current STS-124 mission: Astronaut Mike Fossum used a digital camera to create this self-portrait during one of the EVAs of the mission, with both himself and the International Space Station visible in his helmet visor.
Original News Source: Spaceweather.com