Q:

How do you view the International Space Station from Earth?

A:

Quick Answer

To view the international space station from Earth, check NASA's Spot the Station website for the ideal viewing time based on your location. At the appropriate time on a cloudless night, check the sky for a steady moving white light. The space station is the third-brightest in the night sky after the moon and Venus, so most people can spot the station without binoculars or a telescope when looking at the right time.

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Full Answer

The station, which orbits 240 miles above Earth, moves across the sky at a speed similar to a plane. Unlike that of a plane, the light from the station does not blink. The station is bright enough to see even from urban areas with heavy light pollution. In most locations, the station passes through the visible sky in under five minutes. The station is not visible every night at every location.

To use Spot the Station's lookup tool, select your country, state and city. A list of viewing times for that location in the next 15 days appears. Information included in the list includes the time the station appears, the length of time it is visible, and the angle and direction at which the station appears and disappears.

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