January 15, 2012 Leave a comment
I just watched the International Space Station pass by at 27,000 km/hr, something that most people on earth are in a position to do with the naked eye.
Before sunrise or after sunset, the ISS can appear to observers on the ground, with the naked eye as a slow moving, bright, white dot, slowly crossing the sky in 2 to 5 minutes. This happens before dawn and after dusk when the ISS is sunlit but the ground and sky are dark, which is typically the case up to a few hours after sunset or before sunrise. Because of the size of its reflective surface area, the ISS is the brightest man made object in the sky, with an approximate maximum brightness of −4 when overhead, similar to Venus.
It was surprisingly easy to find and follow, using an iPhone app to show where and when to look for it.