The night sky will be full of opportunities for stargazers over the next week. The International Space Station is visible, with a few opportunities to see it. There is also a once in a lifetime chance to view a “new” comet.

The International Space Station will be visible from earth for the next couple of nights. The Space Station can be seen with the naked eye. You’ll see a pinpoint of light, as the structure reflects sunlight and has no light source of its own.

On Thursday, September 14, the International Space Station will be visible for six minutes starting at 8:42pm. It will become visible from the southwest and travel to the northeast. The station will be visible until September 19, 2023.

  • Thu, September 14, 2023 @ 8:42-8:48pm. 10° above WSW to 15° above NE
  • Fri, September 15, 2023 @ 7:55-8:02pm. 10° above SW to 10° above NE
  • Fri, September 15, 2023 @ 9:33-9:36pm. 10° above WNW to 13° above N
  • Sat, September 16, 2023 @ 8:45-8:50pm. 10° above WNW to 10° above NNE
  • Sun, September 17, 2023 @ 7:56-8:02pm. 10° above W to 10° above NNE
  • Mon, September 18, 2023 @ 8:48-8:50pm. 10° above NW to 10° above N
  • Tue, September 19, 2023 @ 7:59-8:03pm. 10° above WNW to 10° above NNE

Comet Nishimura will be zipping by the earth for the first time in 400 years. The green comet was discovered by amateur Japanese astronomer Hideo Nishimura on Aug. 11 and named after him.

Photo courtesy of Dan Bartlett/NASA.GOV

A comet is leftover ice debris. Comets typically stay far away from the sun, but every once in a while, one comes close. As they get closer to the sun, enough of the ice debris will melt, creating the tail you see with a comet.

Comet Nishimura is a bit more difficult to view so binoculars will come in handy. In order to see the green comet, you need to get up before the sun and look to the eastern horizon.

Sept 14, 2023 in the constellation Leo
Sept 15, 2023 enters the constellation Virgo
Sept 17, 2023 reaches perihelion in the constellation Virgo

On September 17, the comet will be closest to the sun, after which it will become visible from the southern hemisphere.