The International Space Station and China’s Tianhe will be visible in the night sky this weekend

Published:

May 8, 2021, 22:07 GMT

As the summer solstice approaches, on June 20, the night hours get shorter and the satellite can remain in low Earth orbit, like both space stations, illuminated by the sun all night.

Astronomy enthusiasts will be able to observe the International Space Station (ISS) and the central unit of the Chinese space station, which goes by the name Tianhe, in the night sky this weekend. Disqualified On April 29th.

From now until the first week of JuneDue to the monsoon conditions, Americans will have opportunities to see the International Space Station flying over their homes. As the summer solstice approaches, on June 20, the night hours are getting shorter and the satellite could remain in a sunlit low Earth orbit all night, Report The Live Science web portal.

Since this station orbits the Earth every 90 minutes on average, it can be seen not only during one turn, but during several times in a row. The International Space Station is The largest and brightest artificial object of all those orbiting the Earth. Since it orbits our planet at an average altitude of 420 kilometers and a speed of 28,200 kilometers per hour, it can appear to be moving at the speed of a high-flying passenger plane, sometimes taking up to 6 or 7 minutes to cross the sky. .

For most locations, there are two lane types visible. In one case, the object initially appears toward the southwestern part of the sky and then moves toward the northeast. On another occasion, it initially appears towards the northwestern part of the sky and moves to the southeast. Although the International Space Station It looks like a bright white star to the naked eye With a moving light yellow color, people using the telescope will be able to detect its “T” shape as it moves across their field of view.

Dozens of people watch from the shore the launch of the Long March-5B Y2 rocket from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan, China.  April 29, 2021.

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Meanwhile, the Chinese space station, which is smaller than the International Space Station, orbits the Earth with an average altitude of 368 kilometers. Like the International Space Station, the Tianhe is large enough to be seen with the naked eye, despite being smaller Not very bright.

As described by Tom Benigno, an amateur astronomer from Comac, New York, who was able to observe it early Friday morning, Tianhei appeared below Arcturus – the third brightest star in the night sky – in the west and “slowly rose.” “It wasn’t as bright as Arcturus when it passed by,” he added. “Tianhe brightened quickly as he neared the peak. He moved straight across the summer triangle at Vieja, Altair and Deneb.” Moreover, he explained that the object “It had a red or orange tint“.

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Lovell Loxley

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