The International Space Station (ISS) is the third brightest object in our sky, coming in behind the Moon and (of course) the Sun. Despite it being so small and fast, it's still probably visible from your home without a telescope! The window of opportunity to see the ISS zipping past you from over 200 miles (320 km) above Earth is short, meaning it's very important to know what to look for—and most importantly, when to look for it. Lucky for you, there is actually a NASA-based project that will send you a text message or email when the conditions in your area are favorable to see the ISS blasting by from space! When you set up the program, Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Texas triangulates your position with respect to 4,600 locations world-wide. In the event that you don't live in precisely one of the locations, simply choose the area that's closest. The ISS is visible for long stretches of distances from each location. 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 NASA's Spot the Station page here. The page also includes a list of prime ISS-spotting opportunities.
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