UPDATE for tonight’s viewing (Tuedsay, 28 July 2009):
The Shuttle/ISS undocking is TODAY, which means that we will get not only a spectacular overflight of Austin, but a MULTI-SPACECRAFT VIEWING PASS (!!!!).
Endeavour will be visible in Austin starting at approximately 9:14pm. Look for the Big Dipper (slightly to the NNE). Endeavour will fly past the second brightest star at the far end of the “bowl” of the Dipper (the star’s name is “Dubhe” or “Alpha Ursae Majoris”). Endeavour will move VERY high across the night sky – almost directly overhead at 9:17pm (75 degree elevation) – before moving off to the SE and entering Earth’s shadow at approximately 9:19pm.
The International Space Station (ISS) will be following closely behind (by a minute or so) and will actually be much brighter than Endeavour, due to sunlight reflecting off her solar arrays.
There is also the possibility of seeing a *third* vehicle, a Russian Progress resupply vehicle, that is on its way to ISS for a docking later this week, trailing Endeavour and ISS. So, if you see *THREE* vehicles tonight in a line, you’ll know which one is which!
This is absolutely a “DON’T MISS” sighting opportunity!!!