Can you see me now?

Ever wonder why we can’t see the Space Station go by every day?

For one thing, it’s in outer space, as much as anything can be in something that’s outer. So, for the same reason you can’t see the stars during the daytime, you can’t see the ISS either.

More importantly, when the ISS is visible, what you’re seeing is the reflecting sunlight off its massive solar panels. So when the Space Station is in Earth’s shadow, it can’t be seen from the ground. That means the only times you’ll see it is in the couple of hours before sunrise, and after sunset.

But if you’re like me, and you want to know where to find it at all times, I found a cool site here. You get to see the orbital path the Station is taking. It actually moves on the map, too. You could call your friends in Singapore and let them know it’s about time to look up. Or east. Or up and east. Of course, you’ll need to do some homework so you’ll know whether or not it’s the correct time of day for a sighting.

Next up, I need someone to develop an app for my iPhone that let’s me point it to the sky and identify the flight plan of the plane I see. For whatever reason, I need to know where that jet came from, and where it’s going.

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