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Astro Bob

Shine Your Little Light, ISS

19 Jan 2020, 19:54 UTC
Shine Your Little Light, ISS
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A recent time exposure of the nightside of the Earth photographed from the International Space Station. City lights, softened by clouds, glow beneath a starry sky. The green layer is airglow which occurs when molecules excited by sunlight during the day release energy during the night. NASA
People sometimes complain there’s not enough light in winter. Darn sun never seems to stick around for very long. Yet many of us are starting to notice the increase in the amount of daylight. Today (Jan. 19) the sun lingers over my town for an additional 35 minutes compared to the late December. But who’s counting?
There’s another light in the sky after the sun sets these evenings. I’m not talking about Venus, frankly an amazing sight right now, but the International Space Station (ISS). It’s returned for a round of easy-to-see evening passes now through early February and will make up to two bright flybys each night separated by about 90 minutes.
The International Space Station cuts a path between Orion (below) and the Hyades cluster over Duluth, Minn. last January. At left, the trail fades and then disappears as the ISS enters the Earth’s shadow. Bob King
The station “rises” in ...

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