NASA has announced a new service to help people see the International Space Station (ISS) when it passes overhead. “Spot the Station” will send an email or text message to anyone that signs up for the service. A message will be sent a few hours before the space station is visible.
When the space station is visible — typically at dawn and dusk — it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon. On a clear night, the station is visible as a fast moving point of light, similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus. “Spot the Station” users will have the options to receive alerts about morning, evening or both types of sightings.
Sometimes, however, the ISS passes overhead during the day.
The International Space Station’s trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth’s population. The service is designed to only notify users of passes that are high enough in the sky to be easily visible over trees, buildings and other objects on the horizon. NASA’s Johnson Space Center calculates the sighting information several times a week for more than 4,600 locations worldwide, all of which are available on “Spot the Station.”
With a small telescope or binoculars you should be able to see the space station.
WARNING…DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN, POINT A TELESCOPE AT THE SUN, LOOK THROUGH BINOCULARS AT THE SUN UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND HAVE THE PROPER PROTECTION. YOU WILL GO BLIND!
Click to sign up for “Spot the Station.”
For more information about the International Space Station and a full list of sightings, click here.
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– Ex astris, scientia –
I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney. As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +