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Christmas Eve ISS Passes USA and Canada 2014


It’s Christmas Eve. presents are under the tree and it’s time to make merry with a little festive fun!

The international Space Station (ISS) will be passing over North America, it will appear as a bright star like object moving across the early evening sky.

A cheeky parent would grab their children, run outside and say “Look up kids, it’s Santa’s Sleigh! He’s on his way to start his deliveries…” MINDS BLOWN!

Look down at the little faces of wonder as your children’s imaginations run wild with thoughts of Santa laden with presents and his reindeer speeding across the sky (apart from the ones who know it’s the ISS, maybe they will enjoy this bit of fun too?). This is what being a small child is all about at Christmas magic, imagination and wonder.

It’s up to you how you play it, this is very personal to you and your family. Some parents will continue the ruse and some will tell their children it’s the Space Station, hopefully they will be mesmerized either way. You never know it may even inspire the next Albert Einstein or Neil Armstrong. Many great scientists and scientific discoveries were born out of imagination, lets nurture our imaginations this Christmas.

There will be timely alerts for each pass by @VirtualAstro on twitter so follow along and make sure you don’t miss the passes – There will be more passes with alerts in the future so stay posted.

Please see the following table of Christmas Eve ISS passes. Passes are listed in order of appearance and passes vary dependent on location. There is an in depth description of the ISS and the passes below the table.

ISS Pass Times and Locations Christmas Eve 2014

Times and locations are approximate and may vary roughly around a minute of the times stated. More Southern US areas may see the ISS very low down in the Northern sky – dependent on location.

Location Approximate Brightness of the ISS ISS Rises 10° over the horizon (start time) ISS Approaches From (start direction) ISS Highest Point ISS Sets/ Goes into Earths Shadow (direction) ISS Goes into Earths Shadow Approximate ISS Pass Details
Canada – British Columbia Incredibly Bright 17:03 (PST) WNW 17:06 (PST) SE 17:09 (PST) Overhead Pass
Northern USA Pacific Time Zone Incredibly Bright 17:03 (PST) W 17:06 (PST) SE 17:09 (PST) Overhead Pass
Canada – Saskatchewan Manitoba Incredibly Bright 17:31 (CST) WNW 18:37 (CST) ESE 17:38 (CST) Overhead Pass
Northern USA Central Time Zone Incredibly Bright 17:32 (CST) WNW 17:35 (CST) ESE 17:38 (CST) Overhead Pass
Canada – Alberta Bright 18:04 (MST) W 18:07 (MST) SE 18:11 (MST) Short Medium Altitude Pass
Northern USA Mountain Time Zone Bright 18:05 (MST) W 18:08 (MST) SE 18:10 (MST) Overhead Pass
Canada – Ontario Quebec Incredibly Bright 18:35 (EST) NW 18:38 (EST) E 18:38 (EST) Medium Altitude Pass
Northern USA Eastern Time Zone Incredibly Bright 18:35 (EST) NW 18:38 (EST) E 18:38 (EST) Short Overhead Pass

The ISS is the largest Space Station/ laboratory ever built, it can be spotted with the naked eye at certain times as it orbits Earth at 17500mph at an altitude of roughly 200 miles.

Spotting the station is very easy and you don’t need any special equipment. You only need your eyes!

Check out the Beginners Guide to Seeing the ISS to learn how easy it is to spot sailing over and the Beginners Guide to Photographing the International Space Station (ISS).

You can also see this great guide on how to watch and photograph the ISS and how to photograph the ISS with an iPhone.

All you need to know is when and where the ISS will be passing over your location. See the table above for Christmas Eve pass times.

Only bright passes are included in the predictions and the fainter, less easy ones have been left out.

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time, get your cameras ready and enjoy the ISS as it passes over Christmas Eve, or id it Santa

Good luck Merry Christmas and clear skies…..

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