A potentially interesting way to start the first working day of the new year – get up really early on Friday morning and you might be able to see the International Space Station fly overhead – albeit at a very great height.

It whizzes over between 6:15 and 6:20 am, so you’ll need to set the alarm clock for at least 6am to rub the sleep out of the eyes and see if the cloud cover is favourable.

According to the Greenwich Observatory….

The International Space Station (ISS) will first appear in the WSW at 06:14. Watch out for a steady light travelling from west to east. If the light flashes or blinks, you’re probably looking at an aeroplane. A key diagnostic feature is the way the light suddenly disappears as the ISS passes into the Earth’s shadow.

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest manmade object in space. But that doesn’t make it easy to spot. To see it, you have to be in shadow and the ISS has to be in sunlight. That means during the hour after sunset or before sunrise.

Allegedly, if you have good binoculars, you might see a random flash from large toolkit which was dropped overboard the other week and is now flying behind the space station!

Hat tip to Diamond Geezer who told me about the website.

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2 Comments

  1. Interesting post, although I’ll be tucked up at that time. However you might be interested in this site to help you track other satellites and space junk http://www.n2yo.com/?s=33442

  2. Countryboy

    There are many sighting opportunities for the ISS throughout the year. It looks just like a bright star to the naked eye and moves right across the sky in typically 4-5 minutes. Here is a listing of times and dates. Just put your own city in for most accurate times and elevation:

    http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/cities/view.cgi?country=United_Kingdom&region=England&city=London

  3. John

    Enter your postcode at http://www.heavens-above.com to find out when the ISS (International Space Station) is next due overhead. It’s easier to see when it is at a high angle of inclination, ie 70 degrees or above.

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