International Space Station will pass 'near' the moon, 3 other planets

Updated: Apr 14, 2020, 07:52 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

Mumbaikars will be able to witness both sets of phenomenon with the naked eye on April 19 and 21

Mumbaikars will be able to witness both sets of phenomenon with the naked eye on April 19 and 21
Mumbaikars will be able to witness both sets of phenomenon with the naked eye on April 19 and 21

With amateur astronomers having a galactic ball over the past week by witnessing the presence of NASA's International Space Station (ISS) overhead, it's now time for Mumbaikars to see the space lab for themselves. The real visual treat will take place during the early hours of April 19 and 21, when the ISS will appear close to the moon, and pass over Saturn, Jupiter and Mars — all of which can be seen with the naked eye.

The ISS is the third brightest object in the sky and also the longest-serving space station, with astronauts having started its construction in 1998. Astronauts usually spend six months at a time aboard it, with the aim of studying health effects of prolonged space missions.

Nehru Planetarium Director Arvind Paranjpye told mid-day that the time when the ISS is clearly visible in the sky is referred to as a 'pass.' He said, "In the pass which is taking place on April 19, the ISS can be seen moving from the South towards the East. This pass will be very interesting because the ISS will appear to be almost touching the lunar crescent. It will be seen passing very close to the lunar crescent and appear to go right below the moon. The ISS will be seen gliding below the moon at 5.38 am."

"The pass on April 21 will be very much overhead for Mumbaikars and it is going to be very bright as it takes places at around 5.36 am. One can see the ISS pass over Jupiter, Saturn and Mars." On April 23 and 24, the ISS will make its last two passes over the Indian subcontinent, both of which won't be clearly visible for Mumbaikars.

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