NASA has launched a new interactive map that allows people to track the International Space Station as it passes over different countries around the world.
The Spot the Station interactive map makes it easier for enthusiasts to plan a sighting by listing the best viewing destinations for the International Space Station as it passes over several thousand worldwide locations during orbit. As the third brightest object in the sky, the station is often easily spotted with some know-how and luck. Visible to the naked eye, it looks like a fast-moving plane high overhead. The map allows users to input their location and search nearby for viewing opportunities that are marked with blue pins. The space station is visible within an 80 kilometre radius around each of the pins on the map.
— NASA (@NASA) November 2, 2016
The space station is visible during dawn and dusk hours, as it reflects the light of the Sun. Sighting opportunities in different countries can vary from one sighting per month to several a week, due to the fact that it has to be both dark in a location and the station must be overhead to be visible. The map gives accurate dates, times and locations for anyone hoping to catch a glimpse of the fast moving space station, while a text and email alert system is even in place on the website to remind sky watchers.
“Islands in the Sky” The International Space Station crew took in the beauty of our planet as dusk falls over the oceans. NASA astronaut Jeff Williams took this majestic image. #space #spacestation #nasa
A photo posted by International Space Station (@iss) on May 25, 2016 at 2:55pm PDT
More information on viewing opportunities in your location is available at NASA’s Spot The Station website.