The largest artificial habitat in space, International Space Station is visible in India. Skygazers are excited to get a glimpse of ISS in dark sky. The event has given another reason to be delighted for people in Shimla as it became the first place in India where people sighted ISS.
Well, ISS has been seen at different other destinations over the globe, apart from India. It made its first appearance in Shimla on 21st November and since people are seing ISS daily. Indeed, Shimla is the first and only destination India, where one can witness ISS.
However, ISS was seen only for a very little while. It was first seen only for a minute at 5:30 am in Shimla, then again for a minute at 6:37 pm, and one more time at 7:06 pm. For prior information regarding ISS visibility timing, one may go through NASA’s spot the station website. Good news here for the space enthusiasts and the travelers at NASA is that ISS is going to be visible in Shimla for more than one minute each day.
People spotted NASA’s space station at 6:45 pm and again at 7:20 pm on 27th November in Shimla. The ISS is going to be visible at 6:27 pm on 28th November in Shimla, according to the website. In fact, a video has also surfaced over You Tube that shows the space station appearing across the sky of Shimla.
It is here to mention that ISS 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. Revolving from such a closer distance is the reason that people can manage to take a gaze at the space station in naked eye itself.
Don’t worry if you are not present in Shimla as ISS will be visible in other places of India. NASA has issued some guidelines that will provide people living in other parts of Shimla with an opportunity to view the ISS in the sky. Your best chance to view the space station is at sunrise and sunset as light reflected by the ISS makes a bright spot in a dark sky.
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).