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ISS Transits Moon on March 3

Most people have never seen an ISS transit before. Try this early Saturday morning, March 3, 2018.

Set up a telescope in downtown Elkhart, IN, and aim it at the moon. If you set up elsewhere along the line on the map, get accurate times of the event for your location at Visit that website to get updates on future ISS transits of the moon and sun, too.

Map from shows path where ISS transit is visible.

At 05:25:46 a.m, the International Space Station (ISS) will zip across the face of the moon in fewer than two seconds! Though the ISS is in the morning shadow of the earth, the ISS will appear in silhouette as it transits the illuminated moon. It's fast, but you'll be able to discern the giant solar panels perpendicular to the main ISS structure.

Path of ISS through moon and toward NE.  Dotted line is while in shadow of earth.

Keep watching the direction the ISS went, toward the northeast.

ISS Ground Track for March 2, 2018; courtesy of Chris Peat.

At 05:27:38 a.m., when it's fairly high overhead (62 degrees) the ISS exits the shadow of the earth and can be seen (mag= -3.5) for a couple more minutes until it disappears toward the northeast horizon.

While you have your telescope set up, check out the morning planets now--Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter. Astronomical twilight is around 5:45 a.m. The weather prediction is calling for clear skies. Not a bad way to start the day.

Morning planets for March 2, 2018.

I've recorded the ISS transiting the sun as seen on a large Sun Funnel. As you hear me say on camera, I missed it through the viewfinder, but the ISS is readily visible in the video.

I thank the team that produces the website, for it really makes it easy for you to try this telescopic activity.

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