Where is the International Space Station? ISS tracker and how to see the space station
THE International Space Station (ISS) has been a constant presence overhead in near-Earth orbit for almost 20 years and can be seen in our night skies
The £120billion ($150billion) artificial satellite has been orbiting the planet every 90 minutes at a height of over 250 miles (400km). And the iconic space station is actual large enough that when its orbit passes over the UK it can be easily visible as a bright star hurtling across the night sky. The International Space Station can be a startling sight when you first spot it.
The ISS resembles a shining orb larger than any other star in the sky drifting silently through the dark.
The International Space Station’s trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth’s population
Although the ISS occasionally enters periods when it is not visible for months, there comes a space of a few weeks when it flies overhead at night.
Times vary ever so slightly depending on your location, but visit NASA’s Spot the Station website for a complete list.
The International Space Station can be a startling sight when you first spot it.
ISS tracker: The International Space Station orbits the planet every 90 minutes (Image: Getty)
ISS tracker: NASA astronaut Nick Hague recently recorded a stunning time-lapse video (Image: Getty)
How to see the ISS:
You should have no trouble spotting the International Space Station as it orbits overhead at 17,000mph.
The space station resembles a bright star and is usually much brighter than anything else in the sky.
Sometimes the station will rise over the horizon, while at other times it may fade into view in the middle of the night sky as it enters into the sun’s light.
The ISS will always appear in the west and will travel eastwards.
And just as it appears, it may disappear in the same way, growing fainter and fainter until its completely enshrouded by the Earth’s shadow.
You’ll easily be able to spot it with the naked eye, weather permitting.
And even modestly-priced binoculars will help amateur astronomers pick out some of the station’s details, including its iconic solar panel display.
This al means there is an excellent opportunity of spot the ISS, an incredible experience when you consider there are people living there as while conducting important experiments in outer space.
These experiments would be almost impossible to replicate here on Earth.
ISS tracker: Visit NASA’s Spot the Station website for a complete list (Image: Getty)
ISS tracker: The station conducts important experiments in outer space (Image: Getty)
A NASA official said: “The International Space Station’s trajectory passes over more than 90 percent of Earth’s population.
“The service notifies 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 Centre in Houston calculates the sighting information several times a week for more than 6,700 locations worldwide.”