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Looking for the International Space Station in the Night Sky


Andrew Fazekas, astronomer
April 14, 2012 — For the next couple of weeks, people across Canada will have some great opportunities to see the International Space Station fly over their backyards.


People will have a chance to see the International Space Station over the next few weeks
People will have a chance to see the International Space Station over the next few weeks

Skywatchers across Canada will get a chance to see the International Space Station conduct flybys this week.

For the next couple weeks between the hours of 9 pm and local midnight, skywatchers can head to their back yards to see the International Space Station. Look for a bright white star to traverse your sky in a matter of 2-4 minutes. It will look like a very bright, shiny, white-coloured star with no blinking lights -- so you know it's not a plane.

The Space Station is brighter than Venus, which is the brightest stellar object in our evening spring sky. The International Space Station is located 400 km above our heads and travels at around 19,000 miles per hour and takes around 90 minutes to make a trip around Earth so some skywatchers might get a chance to see it two or three times in one night, as long as you've got a clear sky.

There are six astronauts on board at a time, and the station has been permanently manned for 11 years. It's the size of a football field, and it's very reflective -- which makes it very bright in the night sky.

For more information and to find out when your area could see the International Space Station in your area, head to www.thenightskyguy.com

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