Get notified when the International Space Station is in your area
Tuesday 6 Nov 2012 11:13 a.m.
The International Space Station
By 3 News online staff
NASA is making it easier for space fans to spot the International Space Station.
No, they're not painting it fluorescent yellow – they're setting up an email and text alert system which lets you know when it's going to be in your neighbourhood.
Or, more specifically, 322km above your neighbourhood.
"It’s really remarkable to see the space station fly overhead and to realise humans built an orbital complex that can be spotted from Earth by almost anyone looking up at just the right moment," says NASA's William Gerstenmaier.
"We’re accomplishing science on the space station that is helping to improve life on Earth and paving the way for future exploration of deep space."
Under good conditions, the ISS can be the third brightest object in the sky after the Sun and Moon. It looks about the same size and brightness as the planet Venus, but appears to travel across the sky at about the same speed as an aeroplane (it's actually going around 27,724km/h, and orbits the Earth 15.7 times a day).
NASA says the alerts will only be sent when conditions are right for a good sighting, and you can opt into only having morning or evening alerts if you wish.