How to Know When You Can Spot the ISS (International Space Station)
What is the brightest object in the sky? Yes, of course, it’s the Sun after that comes the Moon but what’s after that? Some may say Venus, but my dear friends that’s not it! It’s the ISS (International Space Station) whose lowest magnitude goes as low as -6 whereas in the case of Venus it’s lowest is -4.92 according to Wikipedia. Despite it being small and fast, it’s still visible from your home without a telescope! So let’s see more about it and how you can spot the ISS when it comes overhead?
Some Important Info About ISS
The International Space Station (ISS) is a modular space station in Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO), so its orbit height is approx 400 km. The ISS program is a multi-national collaboration project between five participation space agency: NASA (USA), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), CSA (Canada), and Roscosmos (Russia). It was launched on 20 November 1998. The Maximum crew that the ISS can hold is six. Now, do you know how fast ISS is? After knowing this, you won’t dare to race with it. To stay ISS in Earth’s Orbit, it has to travel at a speed of approx 25,200 km/hour which is 7 km/sec. Isn’t that Super Fast? During a 24 hour of the period, do you know, How many times ISS orbits the earth? Well, with the super-fast speed, ISS orbits earth in every 90 minutes, which means in 24 hours it revolves approx. 16 times of the whole earth.
How to Spot the ISS
Now you know that ISS is a very fast-moving object zipping from your visible sky. So it becomes very important to where took and when to look for it?
For this purpose, there are many apps on Play Store but I won’t recommend them much as they will show you many ads and may also contain a virus. So we won’t be using any app, instead, we will use free service provide by NASA which is Spot The Station. They will send you an email or SMS, whichever you prefer when the conditions in your area are favourable to see ISS. So to sign up for that you will need to go to their website. You will see an interface like this:
Now click on Sign Up!
Now on the next page click on the three horizontal lines on the map click on that and Enter your Location detail there.
Scroll down, and select whether you want to receive messages through Mobile Text or Email. I am selecting Email. Select both Am and Pm in Alert Time and Agree with there terms and click Submit.
In the next page, you will be asked to enter the code that you received in your email. You can either enter the code that you received in your email or simply click on the link that you have received in your email.
After entering the code you have successfully signed up for the service. Now you will receive email or mobile text whichever you selected previously. You will receive that only when you the conditions are right and you will be able to see it without any problem.
Clear and Bright in the sky, you will be able to spot the ISS. Just remember that you have to renew it after every year from the renew section. So that you can continue to get notified through email and keep yourself inspired by seeing it.
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