This week the International Space Station will get an upgrade that will make it the second brightest object in the night sky. Think about how bright Venus is when it is out. The ISS will be brighter than that when it flies over your house. This time-lapse video shows you what it looks like:
(The actual time it is visible over your house is more than a minute)
Here’s another one. The person in the shot points to the ISS as it flies by. Then the camera pans over to see Venus so you can compare the brightness. The upgrade it’s getting will make the ISS even brighter than in the video:
So how can you see it when it flies over your house? First, you need to know where the ISS is and when you can expect it. These two sites can help:
1) Real Time Satellite Tracking – Can show you where the ISS is right now and update it in real time. If you click on ISS in the top left, it can give you a 5-day prediction of when it will be available over your house.
2) Heavens Above – you tell it your city and it can create a 10-day prediction. Refresh the page to see the current position of the ISS.
If you poke around in Google, you can find lots of other sites.
If you have a telescope, you can bring the ISS into sharper focus. This video shows you the kind of resolution that is possible with a good telescope (The ISS part is toward the end of the video, but the beginning is interesting too):
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