If the skies are clear Tuesday night, be sure to keep your eyes trained skyward around 8 p.m. to catch a glimpse of the International Space Station. In a rare occurrence, the ISS will be visible on the west coast for a total of four minutes, starting at 8:02 p.m. above Santa Rosa. Usually, the space station is only visible for a minute or two, so this opportunity allows for a better chance to spot it before it fades from view.
Just like the moon, the space station is visible because it reflects the light of the sun. During the day, it’s too bright to see the sunlight reflecting off the station. However, dawn and dusk are optimal times to catch sight of the ISS, as the sun is in the right position to cast a reflection, and the sky is dark enough to view it. At times, viewings are as rare as once per month. However, over the next several weeks those in Sonoma County and surrounding areas can spot the station almost every day.
To see the space station Tuesday night, look 44 degrees above west-northwest. The station will disappear at 10 degrees above northeast. If you miss it, you can catch it again at 9:38 p.m. Tuesday. But look quick, this viewing will only last two minutes, viewed 11 degrees above northwest.
For more Santa Rosa viewing days and times, click here.
To see when the ISS is visible from any other city, click here.
To learn how to use the sighting information, click here.