ABOVE: International Space Station (ISS) orbiting Earth. (NASA photo)
Gaze into the western sky above Lake County at 6:34 p.m. this evening as the International Space Station (ISS) is expected to be visible as it travels across the sky for nearly four minutes. Spectators will be able to see the ISS with their bare eyes as it resembles a very bright star travelling quickly across the sky
Although the ISS circles the Earth every ninety minutes, the best sighting opportunities are flyovers that occur after dark and when it has a maximum height of at least 40 degrees above the horizon so it’s visible above most landscapes and buildings. Both of those factors take place this evening.
The orbiting ISS is the size of a football field and travels at approximately 17,500 miles per hour. That speed provides the crew with 16 sunrises and sunsets every day. According to NASA, the station has circumnavigated the Earth tens of thousands of times during its 15 years of people living aboard.
Since the space station is only visible when it reflects the light of the sun while passing overhead in darkness, sighting opportunities can range from once a month to several times a week.
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