Space station flies over tonight


If skies are clear enough tonight, residents of Central Maryland should be able to watch the International Space Station fly over, perhaps briefly eclipsing the planet Jupiter, NASA said.

The overflight will begin just after 9:31 p.m. The station, with one Russian and an American aboard, will appear just above the southwest horizon, and travel toward the northeast.

It will look like a bright star, moving quickly across the sky, reaching a point almost at the zenith (directly overhead) just before 9:35 p.m. Orbiting at 17,229 mph and 219 miles above the Earth, it will move off to the northeast, disappearing above the horizon after 9:37 p.m.

About halfway between the southwest horizon and the zenith, the space station will pass Jupiter, the brightest object in that part of the sky.

For most observers, it will appear as a near miss. However, it will be an eclipse for anyone within an 87-yard-wide path of "totality" parallel to Interstate 95 just west of the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

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