February 27, 2011

Last Chance to Observe Space Shuttle Discovery from Wilmington, NC on March 8th

For all you amateur space watchers whose primary means of viewing the stars are your eyes, Tuesday, March 8th will be your last opportunity to see the Space Shuttle Discovery hurdling through space.

According to the NASA tracking website, Discovery will be visible at 7:21pm on March 8th. The approach will be at 16 degrees above the NNW and will depart the horizon at 34 degrees above the NE. The max arc height will be 34 degrees. In simpler terms, if your are near the entrance of Freeman Park (my favorite viewing point), you'll want to orientate yourself so you are looking low on the horizon facing roughly towards the point where snow's cut intersects with the intracoastal waterway (upper backside of Freeman Park).

As an added bonus, the International Space Station will be visible at basically the same trajectory one minute later (7:22pm).

This is Discovery's last space flight and will be followed by final flights from Endeavour (April 19) and Atlantis (June 28) marking the end of NASA's space shuttle program.

Photo Credit: MSNBC
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