What’s That in the Night Sky?

The night sky has really been showing off lately. During the past week, we’ve had the chance to see some amazing sights by simply just looking up!

On Wednesday, Dec. 29, we were greeted by a flyby of the International Space Station over much of the east coast.

When the space station flies overhead, it’s usually easy to spot because it’s the third brightest object in the night sky. You can even enter your location into THIS website and get a list of dates/times when it will be flying over you!

One of our NASA Headquarters Photographers ventured to the Washington National Cathedral to capture the pass in action.

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Then, on Saturday, Dec. 2, just one day before the peak of this month’s supermoon, the space station was seen passing in front of the Moon. 

Captured by another NASA HQ Photographer, this composite image shows the space station, with a crew of six onboard, as its silhouette transits the Moon at roughly five miles per second.

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Here’s an animated version of the transit.

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To top off all of this night sky greatness, are these beautiful images of the Dec. 3 supermoon. This marked the first of three consecutive supermoons taking the celestial stage. The two others will occur on Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2018.

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A supermoon occurs when the moon’s orbit is closest to Earth at the same time that it is full.

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Are you this pilot? An aircraft taking off from Ronald Reagan National Airport is seen passing in front of the Moon as it rose on Sunday.

Learn more about the upcoming supermoons: 

To learn more about what you can expect to spot in the sky this month, visit: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/2017/12/04/whats-up-december-2017

Discover when the International Space Station will be visible over your area by visiting: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Learn more about our Moon at: https://moon.nasa.gov/

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.