Depending upon their location, space enthusiasts can see something special in the sky Saturday night, but they'll have to be quick.
In addition to the International Space Station, skygazers will be able to see a second space vehicle.
At 9:16 p.m., the space station will appear in the western sky. It will be at its highest point in the southwestern sky at 9:17 p.m., then disappear out of view to the south at 9:19 p.m.
About 10 minutes later, a supply space vessel will go on the same path.
The Japanese Space Agency earlier this week launched the H-II Transfer Vehicle Kounotori on a five-day trip. Kounotori means “white stork” or the purveyor of joyful things in Japanese, which is appropriate because the HTV-5 is delivering much-needed supplies to the space station.
Unlike other vehicles that periodically visit the space station, the HTV-5 has solar panels wrapped around its body. This can lend itself to some pretty bright flares at it passes overhead. The HTV-5 will be fainter than the brilliant ISS, but still visible to the naked eye.
The HTV-5 will appear a bit lower in the southwestern sky than the ISS. It will appear at about 9:24 p.m. and then disappear in the southern sky 2 minutes later, so you’ll have to look quick!
Some states will have a clearer view than others, while others may have the opportunity to see the space station on other days. Visit NASA's SpotTheStation page to enter your location for specific viewing details.