Seeing the ISS (International Space Station) pass over head is a really cool experience. You can’t see the details. It’s just a big, bright dot in the sky zooming by, but somehow it’s amazing to watch. You realise that people are in that dot 250 miles up and doing over 17,000MPH.
To most people the ISS is just this thing in space where astronauts sing songs, and they don’t realise they can almost certainly see it pass over their head. And unlike many of these space things they don’t have to travel to weird locations only to find out it won’t be happening that night or it’s too cloudly to see. You can see the ISS from the comfort of your garden!
Well NASA offers a service called Spot The Station where they’ll e-mail or text you when it’s going to be passing by your location. And they give you all the details on where to see it in the nights sky.
Here’s an example email:
Time: Fri Jun 07/10:43 PM, Visible: 6 min, Max Height: 61 degrees, Appears: WSW, Disappears: E
Just go outside a minute or so before they say in case it’s early and then look up and marvel.
Everyone I’ve told about this hasn’t known about it before and hasn’t regretted checking it out once I mentioned it. And kids love it. It’s a tangible ‘rocket’ that’s in their garden and not far out in space or in picture books.