The International Space Station orbiting Earth. (Credit: NASA)
The International Space Station orbiting Earth. (Credit: NASA)

Behind the moon and of course, the sun, the International Space Station (ISS) is the third brightest object in our sky. Despite it being small and fast, it’s still typically visible from your home even without a telescope!

The window of opportunity to see the ISS zipping past you from over 200 miles above Earth’s surface in low-Earth orbit (LEO) is small, meaning it’s very rare to know what to look for and most importantly, WHEN, to look for it! Some of you may be blissfully unaware of the fact that there is actually a NASA-based project that will send you a text message or an email alert when the conditions in your area are favorable to see the ISS from space.

To determine when to contact you, mission control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (in Houston, Texas) can triangulate your position in respect to 4,600 locations world-wide. In the event that you don’t live precisely in one of the locations, simply choose the area that’s located the closest from you, as the ISS is visible from pretty much everywhere.

The service will only notify you when weather conditions allow for the ISS to be visible, typically on a clear night.

For more information, or to sign up for the alerts, visit: spotthestation.nasa.gov