Skip to Content

A Chance to See the International Space Station Tonight

Since its launch in 1998, the International Space Station (ISS) has been above our heads in orbit around the Earth. There it has been for over 17 years, orbiting the earth over 100,000 times. Mid-Missouri has a chance to see one of those orbits tonight just by taking a few steps beforehand.

First things first, in order to see this pass you must first go away from the city or any other form of artificial light as light pollution will make it difficult to see the ISS. You won’t need any special equipment, you should be able to see it with your eyes after adjusting to the darkness for about 10 minutes. During that adjustment time, don’t look at your phone or any other light as it will make it more difficult to see the ISS.

The ISS is the largest man made object in orbit but it will still just appear to us on Earth as a bright white star that will move across the sky, not blinking or having any other flashing lights like a passing plane would have.

Now for the details:

The ISS will begin to come into view at 9:01 PM coming from the West Southwest 10 degrees above the horizon. To determine the elevation of 10 degrees, hold your fist out at arms length with the bottom of your fist resting on the horizon- the top of your fist will be about 10 degrees. The ISS will be visible for 6 minutes tonight under mostly clear skies and a nearly moonless sky. It will move from the west in a high arc to the northeast before leaving your view at 9:07 PM.

It’s a short period to see this astronomical event, but I guarantee you won’t forget it.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

ABC 17 News Team


ABC 17 News is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content