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The International Space Station (ISS), upper left, passes the moon as viewed from the Kennedy Space Center, on 5 April, 2010, in Cape Canaveral. AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee
Look Up

ISS to blaze across sky this evening

Spot the space station pass over at 5.17 and 6.53pm.

THE FOLKS AT Astronomy Ireland always keep us up to date on celestial displays and this evening is no exception. If you look up at the darkened sky this evening at 5.17pm and 6.53pm, the International Space Station (ISS) will pass over in front of your eyes.

It will look like an extremely bright star moving across the sky from right to left. Later this week, the ISS will put an even better show when it passes in front of the Moon and Jupiter. David Moore, editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine, said:

You can’t miss ISS because it is up to 100 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky – it’s that bright! As mankind’s only space laboratory Irish people will be seeing space history in the making. Similar to the craft that took Columbus to the Americas. It’s that important to space exploration.

The station will actually visible every evening until New Year’s Eve, but because it passes over at a different time each evening, Astronomy Ireland has said that each afternoon it will post the time to view it on a particular evening. Check out their site here.

The ISS is the largest and most expensive spacecraft to ever be put into orbit: it is roughly the size of Croke Park and cost €100 billion to construct and put into space. It orbits around 350km above the surface of the Earth.

Last month, Nasa launched a text/email alert service for people worldwide which notifies you a few hours before the ISS is due to fly over your area. Read more about that service here.

Watch the skies: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… the International Space Station>

Incredible photo of night-time Ireland from space>

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