Friday, June 13, 2014
Plenty of necks have been craning skywards into the late-night clear skies this week to catch a glimpse of a treat from space.
And the message from astronomers is that you have still not missed the chance to see the International Space Station passing over our region.
The station travels the length of the UK in about two minutes, travelling at 17,500mph at an altitude of roughly 200 miles.
But spotting the station does not require any specialist equipment.
As the station elevates higher, it reflects the sun and becomes brighter and this spectacular sight can then be seen with the naked eye.
Since its launch in 2000, 204 people have visited the space station, and the clear skies have allowed us to share in the experience as it passes over.
Mark Thompson, a Norfolk astronomer, said: “All people need to do essentially is wrap up warm, and get outside.
“It is harder to see around street lights so make sure you’re somewhere clear and look up.”
The weather forecast for tonight is slightly cloudier than in recent days but the space station should still be visible and will be “incredibly bright” at its peak viewing time. The best time tonight will be between 10.10pm and 11.51pm.
People should also be able to see it each night until Tuesday and then again in August.
For optimum viewing of this space spectacular, the station starts its orbit in the west.
The passing of the station can last between a few seconds and five minutes.
As the station’s orbit is around 96 minutes, some lucky fans may even get to see it twice.
For more information about how and when to view the International Space Station, visit www.meteorwatch.org