Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium
Satellites Visible From The Indianapolis Area
UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS) PASSES
Over a 5-day timespan from October 24th to 28th the ISS will be making several favorable passes over central Indiana just before sunrise. It will be the brightest object in the sky other than the waning crescent Moon. What you'll see is a very bright "star" moving from roughly West to East. As moves toward the East it will rapidly appear as it moves out of the Earth's shadow into sun light. Below we have the maps with times for each date to show you where and when to look in the sky. Click on the map/date to get a detail map and description of each ISS pass.
|OCTOBER 24th||OCTOBER 26th||OCTOBER 27th||OCTOBER 28th|
OTHER DATES AND SATELLITES
Satellites are best observed after sunset and before sunrise. At this time the surface of the Earth is in darkness but the Sun is still visible several hundred kilometers above the surface of the Earth. Because of this, satellites can reflect sunlight back to the Earth surface making them easily visible and often brighter than the brightest stars.
In addition to these well known satellites there many more visible each evening. View the list of satellites visible tonight in Indianapolis, weather permitting. Click on the time of maximum altitude to get a plot of the satellites path through the sky.
One other set of interesting satellites are the Iridium satellites. Many of these highly reflective satellites orbit the Earth. If they are oriented just right they can produce what is called an Iridium flare. These flares can occasionally be so bright that they are visible during the daytime if you look in the correct direction in the sky. Here are the Iridium flares for the next 7 days.
The International Space Station is celebrating its 17th anniversary. For more information on the ISS celebration visit the International Space Station Technology Guide.