Friday, June 21, 2013

Spotting the International Space Station

If you are an astronomy geek like me, things in the sky are totally fascinating, even if they are manmade.

NASA has this way cool feature that enables you to get a notification email, localized for your area, for when the International Space Station (ISS) will be visible from your location.

From the NASA site:

See the International Space Station! As the third brightest object in the sky the space station is easy to see if you know when to look up.
NASA’s Spot The Station service gives you a list of upcoming sighting opportunities for thousands of locations worldwide, and will let you sign up to receive notices of opportunities in your email inbox or cell phone. The space station looks like a fast-moving plane in the sky, but it is dozens of times higher than any airplane and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster. It is bright enough that it can even be seen from the middle of a city! To learn more about the space station, its international crew, and how they live and working in space, please visit the space station mission pages.

Here is an example of an email I got Wed morning; I used it to view the ISS overhead that evening:

Time: Wed Jun 19/10:15 PM, Visible: 3 min, Max Height: 44 degrees, Appears: NNW, Disappears: E

Give it a shot.  Especially with kids, who will think you are amazing when you can predict the ISS passage.

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