I recently was able to catch a glimpse of the International Space Station as it flew overhead. Actually, not just once but twice within two nights with the potential of seeing it each of the next four evenings.
It’s quite cool watching it blast across the sky considering it flies at 17,000+ mph with an average altitude of 173 mi.1
A few of the tools I use to catch a glimpse: The Sighting Opportunities feed is a good place to start as it will give you times, duration and location to see ISS. Stellarium is a fantastic piece of open source software that turns your computer into your own personal planetarium. With it, I can take my EeePC outside and have a nearly realtime view of the location of ISS. That way I can see when it’ll be above the horizon.
The Android app Satellite AR uses the compass, GPS and camera on your device to show you locations of satellites by using augmented reality.
And of course, my trusty Canon 40D to capture this image:
The shots I took aren’t perfect but hey, I’ve got a few more opportunities ahead to get some more.
- speed and altitude data for ISS obtained from Wikipedia