As you may be aware, Space Shuttle Discovery is currently docked to the International Space Station as part of mission STS-128.
The shuttle is due to land at 00:09am on Friday 11 September BST (British Summer Time).
It just so happens that London will get one good chance to see the Space Station (and possibly Space Shuttle) before the Shuttle lands.
The best time for the sighting is Wednesday the 9th September at 20:34:44 BST. We would have only had average sightings, but since the ISS and Shuttle boosted their height (and adjusted their orbit) a little, we’re now getting some brighter viewing as more decent times.
Here are the times for Wednesday:
Starts: 20:34:44, 10 degrees above the horizon, South-southwest
Max elevation: 20:37:07, 24 degrees above the horizon, South-southeast
Ends: 20:38:00, 20 degrees above the horizon, East-southeast
The magnitude (brightness) of it should get brighter than -2, so it will definitely be visible to the naked eye, however binoculars or a telecope will be required to make out the shape and color of it.
Here is a diagram of the pass from www.heavens-above.com
If you’re not bothered about trying to see the space shuttle, the ISS will be about 2.4 times brighter again this Sunday.
Starts: 13 September 20:37:35,10 degrees up, West-southwest
Max elevation: 20:40:28, 80 degrees up, South-southeast
Ends: 20:41:55, 26 degrees up, East
Here’s a diagram of the brighter pass on Sunday night.
Sighting information courtesy of www.heavens-above.com