In this earlier article I mentioned that you could watch the International Space Station (ISS) and the cargo ship ATV-5 (Georges Lemaitre) cross the sky within a few minutes of each other. I’ve seen them pass by twice, Sunday and last night. Even in moonlight, they were easy to track.
Being much larger with lots of highly reflective solar panels, the ISS is naturally much brighter than ATV-5. Their brightnesses vary depending on the pass, but if the ISS resembles Jupiter or Venus, the cargo ship is more like an average bright star.
You can watch for them through August 12 when the ship docks with the space station. Both travel from west to east. Go to Heavens Above for times and direction to look for your town. Below is a list of times for the Duluth, Minn. region:
* Tonight Aug. 7, the ISS appears in the west starting at 9:47 p.m. and crosses the northern sky. ATV-5 follows at 9:51 p.m.
* Friday Aug. 8 starting at 8:58 p.m. across the top of the sky. Brilliant pass! ATV-5 comes much later at 10:14 p.m. across the northern sky.
* Saturday Aug. 9, ATV-5 at 9:02 p.m. across the north with the ISS at 9:46 p.m. across the north.