Over the next few days, the International Space Station should be visible in the evening over the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter region if the weather remains clear and cloudless. This is a great opportunity for families who are interested in space to spot the station.
Orbiting at 350 kilometres above the earth, the International Space Station station is an active scientific laboratory orbiting the earth and is currently conducting research into space physics and the human body in space. The space station has been continuously inhabited by humans for 20 years, supporting many scientific breakthroughs.
At the moment, the International Space Centre is home to Expedition 65 Crew which includes Shane Kimbrough, Megan McArthur and Mark T. Vande Hei from NASA and Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy of Roscomos from Russia, Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency and Akihiko Hoshide from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Astronauts usually stay for approximately six months on the ISS.
Here’s some information about when you will be able to locate the International Space Station in the morning and night sky for the next fortnight.
On the NASA website, there is an online tool which indicates when and where the ISS will be visible. It even gives you directions on how to spot it in the night sky.
There is also the NASA App which you can set to get ISS alerts. Enter your location and it will alert you when it is flying over.
The following ISS sightings are possible through to Thursday 9 September 2021.
Maitland / Cessnock / Kurri Kurri
According to NASA, the station “looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles per hour)”.
The Space Station is typically visible around sunrise or sunset, because the sun reflects off the space centre and can be seen against a darker sky. Sightings are limited to only a few minutes.
If you miss the ISS during this period, you can sign up for reminders as to when it will be back again.
Want more ideas for lockdown family fun? Check out our article 150+ Ideas For Family Fun During a Lockdown
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