National News

NC State's Christina Koch in space station will be over Raleigh tonight

Posted September 20, 2019 11:40 a.m. EDT
Updated September 20, 2019 5:11 p.m. EDT

— If you've never seen the International Space Station pass over your home before, or even if you've seen it dozens of times, don't miss tonight's opportunity.

Conditions couldn't be much better.

The station's path takes it directly over central North Carolina around 8 p.m. Friday and skies will be clear with temperatures in the mid- to upper 60s.

Look to the southwest horizon at 7:57 pm on Friday, and the station will be overhead by 8:01 p.m. and will set on the northwest horizon three minutes later.

If you are watching from Chapel Hill or Durham, the station will be directly overhead, anywhere else in North Carolina, it will look nearly overhead.

The station will appear as a fast moving, bright point of light.

Russian Cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Alexander Skvortsov, Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, and NASA astronauts Andrew Morgan, Nick Hague, and North Carolina's own Christina Koch will be in the station.

Christina, an alumna of NC State and the North Carolina School of Science and Math, has been in space for 190 days.

Her mission was extended through February 2020.

The station will appear at its brightest because the Friday night pass brings it to close, 259 miles in altitude. The station appears dimmer when lower on the horizon because it is further away, and we are looking through a lot more atmosphere.

If you miss tonight's 8 p.m. show, the station will appear again briefly at 9:36 p.m. low on the northwest horizon, and again Saturday on the west northwest horizon at 8:47 p.m, then a bit higher on Sunday, moving from the west to northwest beginning at 7:58 p.m.

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