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Look up in the sky tonight: See the space station along the Sacramento horizon

Video: Scott Kelly's year in space in three minutes

Astronaut Scott Kelly will complete his 340-day mission on the International Space Station March 1, making it the longest any U.S. astronaut has spent in space. His #YearInSpace allows NASA researchers to study the physical and psychological chall
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Astronaut Scott Kelly will complete his 340-day mission on the International Space Station March 1, making it the longest any U.S. astronaut has spent in space. His #YearInSpace allows NASA researchers to study the physical and psychological chall

Tonight is likely to afford good viewing to see the International Space Station in the Sacramento sky.

A wet weather system is expected to arrive Wednesday night, but Tuesday night is likely to be clear. That will allow sky gazers in Sacramento to see the space station of Expedition 50, the mission that will end March 4.

If skies are clear, the space station will be visible for three minutes starting at 6:41 p.m. NASA said the best time to view is when the sun reflects off the space station and contrasts against the night sky.

The station will appear at 20 degrees elevation in the west-northwest sky. The horizon is zero degrees.

NASA provides this tip: If you hold your fist at arm’s length and position it resting on the horizon, the top will be at about 10 degrees.

The station will disappear at 16 degrees in the north-northeast sky. The maximum height the station will reach is 26 degrees.

The station will be visible on other days through Feb. 10, barring cloudy skies. The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star, according to NASA. It moves much faster than an airplane: 17,500 mph.

The expedition aboard the space station includes two Americans – Commander Robert Shane Kimbrough and flight engineer Peggy Whitson. Also aboard are three Russian cosmonauts and a French flight engineer.

The expedition is endeavoring to determine how lighting can change the health of space station crew, how microgravity can affect the genetic properties of space plants and how micro-gravity affects human tissue regeneration.

NASA has released an awesome video showing what it looks like approaching Pluto. The video is made up of more than 100 high resolution images taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. The images were taken over six months as the spacecraft flew by

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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