NASA has shared a breathtaking night time image of Western Europe that was captured by the astronauts aboard the International Space Station. England is visible in the top right of the frame, Paris appearing as the bright city near the middle of the image and views of Belgium and the Netherlands occupying the middle-right of frame.
Bright yellow spots in the image are the major cities which look amazing when at night when seen from space. These astronauts aboard ISS are blessed to witness such an awe-inspiring view and they constantly share these images for star gazers and space enthusiasts to view it on Earth. The image of Western Europe became an instant hit and received several shares and retweets on different social media platforms.
It is here to mention these images were captured from International Space Station (ISS) that revolves around the earth at a distance just 400 kilometers, and at a speed of at 8 km/second. In other words, it revolves around the earth 15 times in a day. Since, it revolves at such a closer distance which makes it possible for people to see it from their naked eyes.
The ISS is the largest artificial satellite present in space which serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology, and other fields. The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars.
Recently, it was visible in India. The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It moves considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles (965 km) per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles (28,000 km) per hour).
Meanwhile space enthusiasts can also see Internation Space Station from Earth. For ISS sightings users can visit ISS sighting web page and search their locations in the search bar. It will come up with the date and time at which you can view the ISS. However, if you are unable to find positive results at your location then it will show near places where you can view ISS.
How do I Spot The Station?
Time is when the sighting opportunity will begin in your local time zone. All sightings will occur within a few hours before or after sunrise or sunset. This is the optimum viewing period as the sun reflects off the space station and contrasts against the darker sky.
Visible is the maximum time period the space station is visible before crossing back below the horizon.
Max Height is measured in degrees (also known as elevation). It represents the height of the space station from the horizon in the night sky. The horizon is at zero degrees, and directly overhead is ninety degrees. If you hold your fist at arm’s length and place your fist resting on the horizon, the top will be about 10 degrees.
Appears is the location in the sky where the station will be visible first. This value, like maximum height, also is measured in degrees from the horizon. The letters represent compass directions — N is north, WNW is west by northwest, and so on.
Disappears represents where in the night sky the International Space Station will leave your field of view.
The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn’t have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles (965 km) per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles (28,000 km) per hour).