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Question about viewing the ISS from earth.

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posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 04:59 AM
Hi all,

Very much a basic backyard astronomer here....wondering if it is possible to see the ISS from my back garden?

I have found a page on the NASA site where you can see the sighting info over my location, but wondered if i need bino's or a telescope?

Could me and the kids make it out from here? I guess it would be a dot at most, but it would be cool to see.

Is there a way to identify it? Any specific characteristics?

Thanks for any info.

I have looked online, but get a load of co-ordinates and data that i haven't got a clue about, so i'd welcome a laymans version please.

I'm in the south (UK).


posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 05:14 AM
You could try this 'live' tracker programme.
Nasa tracker

Or this site ..
Another tracker

It flies by pretty fast, it is just a small white dot passing over.
But it gives you an nice time even so..

posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:42 AM
I've seen it with my eyes and it wasn't a small white dot, it was quite large. Maybe something to do with it's position or something? Of course if you get a reflecetion from the panels it might actually be very bright.

posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 06:50 AM
It will depend on your light pollution as to how bright it is, but it will be visible to the naked eye.

Another site to use is

Keep an eye out for when it passes over next and head outside.

Good luck!

posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 09:48 AM
I just saw it last night (March 15) here in Pennsylvania quite by accident. I was taking my dog outside to "do his business" at around 8:20 and I saw a light -- as bright or brighter than Venus -- moving from the south towards the northeast. The light was brightest at around the zenith point but quickly dimmed until it grew so dim that it disappeared completely. I'd say it went from "very bright" to "very dim" in about 30 seconds.

I've seen the ISS before and suspected that's what I was witnessing. The shuttle had just launched less that 40 minutes prior, so I knew it could not be the shuttle (40 minutes is not enough time to make one orbit). I went into the house and checked "" and verified that it was indeed the ISS.

Like I said, I have seen the ISS many times before (including seeing the ISS and the shuttle as two separate dots soon after the shuttle undocked), but last night is probably only the second time that I saw it "by accident".

[edit on 3/16/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Mar, 16 2009 @ 10:32 AM
The ISS is about as bright as Venus and moves slower than an aircraft. Unmistakable. Though can be a shock first time you see it!

I was fortunate enough last year to see the ISS and Shuttle pass overhead - though only discovered that was what it was afterwards. Looked like a small UFO towing a bigger UFO!

I use

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