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Spot the International Space Station in the Night Sky

The International Space Station
By Nathan Young
 
Over the next week and a half you'll have a couple good opportunties to see the International Space Station from San Diego as it's whizzes by overhead on its orbit of the Earth. 
 
Your best chance to see it is Thursday, December 3, at 5:46 p.m. The ISS will appear at 11 degrees above the horizon in SSW sky. It will fly up to 58 degrees over the horizon and be visible for four minutes before descending below the line of sight at about 30 degrees above the ENE horizon. 
 
There will be another good chance to see it on Saturday, December 5, at 5:40 p.m. This time it will appear 30 degrees above the horizon in the west, fly to 45 degrees overhead and disappear after three minutes at 17 degrees above the NNE horizon. 
 
The International Space Station will appear as a bright fast moving light; bigger and brighter than a star but smaller than an airplane. After the Moon and Sun, it's the third brightest object to appear in the night sky.  
 
The ISS circles the Earth as often as sixteen times a day but it only happens once or twice a month where the ISS orbits over San Diego in such a way that the Sun reflects off of it and we can see it from here. 
 
For more information on the Intenational Space Station and exact times to see it in the future visit http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/.