Spot the Space Station

Science At Home People and Place

Have you ever seen the International Space Station?

Since 2000, astronauts from space agencies across the world have lived on the International Space Station (ISS). 

Right now, the International Space Station is orbiting Earth, about 260 miles (420 km) above the ground we are on. At 17,500 miles (28,000 km) per hour, the ISS orbits Earth about once every 90 minutes. 

If you know when and where to look, the station is easy to spot. In fact, at dawn or dusk, the ISS is the third brightest object in the sky! 

Interested in spotting the ISS? Here’s what to do:

  1. Enter your city
  2. Find a blue marker that is near your location
  3. Choose “view sighting opportunities”
  4. Choose a date and time
  5. Use the information on the table to find out where the ISS will appear in the sky
  6. Once you know when and where the station will appear, scan the sky for an object that looks like a very far away, fast-moving plane!

Tips:

  • Find a landmark to help you remember the location where the ISS will appear and disappear.
  • Choose flyovers that reach a max height of at least 40°. Otherwise, buildings and trees may block your view

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