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What’s that in the sky!?

Did you see a “bright orange tennis ball like thing” in the southwest sky over Falmouth around 5:20pm yesterday (January 3rd)?  Don’t worry.  The sky wasn’t falling and we weren’t being invaded by aliens.  What you saw was the International Space Station (ISS) on its appointed rounds.  You will have two more opportunities to catch sight of it this week alone:

Today, January 4, 2012 at 5:57:30 pm

Tomorrow, January 5, 2012 at 5:00:59 pm

And for early risers, it will also pass by on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 6:12:01am.

The times noted are when the Space Station will be at its closest approach to earth.  It will rise five minutes earlier and set five minutes later.
If you are interested in finding out about future sightings over Falmouth or other locales, you can go to the NASA website and download a free applet that allows you to plug in your zip code of interest for a list of the next sightings.  Click on that link above and look for the “sightings opportunities” section at the upper left of the page.

The ISS is on Expedition 30 which will be in orbit from November, 2011to March, 2012.  There are six crew members aboard, two of which were born in the United States.  Did you know we have a Cape Cod connection on this expedition? The Commander, Daniel C. Burbank, originally from Connecticut, calls Yarmouthport his home!  Perhaps you heard about another Cape Cod connection in 2009 when Sunita “Suni” Williams was aboard the ISS.  She and her family live in Falmouth part time.

Two patrons contacted the reference department this afternoon to inquire about the ISS.  One described it as a bright orange tennis ball.  Did anyone else see it?  If you see something unusual about town, give us a call, email, text or stop by the desk and we’ll try to get the answer for you!

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