The image above was taken today (1/5/2012) by the Terra satellite, part of NASA’s Earth Observing System. It shows that the skies are so clear over Western North Carolina that we can still see the areas of snow left from the snow event earlier this week.
These clear skies should make for excellent viewing this evening of the International Space Station as it makes a pass over our region beginning at 6:33 pm. Look to the WNW. You’re looking for a bright light, similar to Venus, that is visibly moving toward the south. Traveling at a speed of over 17,000 mph, the ISS will be visible for over 6 minutes as it crosses relatively low on the horizon – at about 30°.
Grab a pair of binoculars, if you’ve got them, and watch this engineering marvel as it orbits the Earth at an altitude of over 230 miles.