Shuttle and Space Station to be seen close together early Saturday
Just after 4 a.m on Saturday morning the Shuttle and International Space Station will fly over New Zealand just after undocking and just before the shuttle commences a flyaround of the Station.
They will appear as two bright lights close together moving from the north to the southeast. They can only be seen when the sun is on them and it is darker on earth, but as they are flying at around 372 km above the earth the sunlight reaches them before it reaches the earth below them.
In this case the sun is only on them for part of the pass so they will seem to "appear out of nowhere" as they pass to the north. The best spots to see them will be Auckland or Gisborne where they will seem to be almost overhead. They will only be visible for about 5 or 6 minutes before they pass below the horizon..
Binoculars are not necessary but will give a better view. Telescopes are not recommended unless they use computer tracking as the satellites are moving very fast.