In The Desert
8 / 15 / 2016
International Space Station
For more info see the links below!
What does this have to do with in the desert? This is a great night time event just like the moon, the stars, and meteor showers. All these events can best be seen when viewed somewhere in the desert southwest! This August the ISS traveled over a portion of the desert where it was visible to the naked eye. This doesn't happen often, but, we'll supply links to its orbit and possible viewing areas. This could depend on the weather and cloud conditions. We were lucky to get a quick, but brilliant view of it's recent passing. It was visible in Utah, Arizona and Nevada.
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ISS Time Lapse Video
This was an iffy situation as bad weather was moving in fast. But we did manage a small capture of ISS as it sped across the sky between clouds. See the links below to find a good time to view ISS as it circles the earth. It travels at 17,500 miles an hour so it won't be visible for long periods of time. On this viewing (just at dusk) only lasted for 4 minutes.
ISS History, Links
This is what the Space Station looked like when first launched into orbit on November 20th. 1998
This is what the Space Station looks like today. See below. As of August 2016 it has been in orbit for 17 years, 273 days.
The Space Station is 239 ft. long and 356 ft. wide and it orbits the earth at an altitude of 256 miles (this altitude varies). This is the same distance as it is between Las Vegas to San Diego.
Countries Participating in ISS:
You can find out exactly where the ISS is in orbit by viewing the map located on THIS PAGE. Once there click on the Observation Tab at the top and then type in your zip code then click the "search button". This will give you the next 10 days to see if it will be visible at your location on the earth. It also tells you the length of visibility and the brightness (only if it's visible to you). You'll want to keep coming back to this page every 10 days to see if it will be visible to you. Bookmark that Page!
You may only get a fleeting glimpse of the Space Station, but it's remarkable just how bright it is, and how fast it moves across the sky. It's certainly something worth seeing in the desert.