What Are Some Tips for Viewing the International Space Station?


Quick Answer

View the International Space Station by finding the coordinates of the space station's current location on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's website and then looking for a very bright object in the night sky near that location. A good pair of field binoculars makes it possible to view structural details of the space station. A telescope reveals even more detail.

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Full Answer

NASA's Spot the Station feature on its website allows users to find out when the International Space Station is viewable in their areas of the country. The space station is among the brightest objects in the night sky, even visible to big city residents. While the space station doesn't give off light of its own, it does reflect the light of the sun in the same way the moon does. It appears to resemble a fast-moving airplane, but is much higher than a typical plane and travels 1,000 miles per hour faster than a plane. At times, vehicles visiting the space station are also visible.

The International Space Station may be visible several times a week or only once or twice a month, depending the viewer's location. Users may sign up on NASA's website to receive alerts when the space station is visible in their locations.

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