The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is passing overhead tonight!
It may not be as bright as the International Space Station (ISS), but it’s another great satellite to tick off your bucket list! Hubble doesn’t have as many surfaces to reflect the sunlight like the ISS has and that’s why it will never appear as bright. You don’t need a telescope or binoculars to see it. People who are out under a dark night sky in country WA will have a better chance of seeing it because there is much less artificial light pollution. However, try your luck in the city too!
Tonight: Watch just after 8.17pm, Monday 4th March 2019. It will be visible for about 3 minutes! Remember to set your alarm and be outside a little bit earlier to make sure you know which direction to look!
Tomorrow night: On Tuesday, 5th March, the Hubble will pass over at just after 8:07pm.
Direction to look: Hubble will travel across the sky from the west to the east. It will head up towards the “Saucepan” in the sky and then disappear from view as it passes into Earth’s shadow.
Watch for a dim star that moves slowly and steadily across the night sky in a straight line. You might notice that the satellite gets brighter before it disappears from view altogether. When it disappears from view, what you’re seeing is the Hubble move into Earth’s shadow.
Discover How to Track the HST
There are some great apps and computer software programs to help you track the HST yourself. Here are a few of our free favourites:
Heavens Above (Android app and computer)
Sputnik! (iPhone app)
Orbitrack (iPhone, coming to Android in 2019)
Hubble was launch in April 1990 and has been taking amazing images ever since.
How Can you See More Satellites?
Take a trip to country WA. The best satellite spotting time is in the hour or so after sunset. Grab your favourite chair or picnic rug, lie back and start counting!