Double Spaceship Sighting Alert!

Article written: 6 Apr , 2010
Updated: 22 Jan , 2016
by

The ISS, as seen from space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-130 mission. Credit: NASA

Since this perhaps the fourth-to-the-last space shuttle flight, right now is a great opportunity to see the marvelous sights of International Space Station and space shuttle Discovery flying close in tandem. Depending on where you live, Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning should provide a wonderful opportunity to see the two as the shuttle prepares to dock at 7:44 GMT (3:44 a.m EDT) on April 7, 2010.

Before docking, the two spacecraft will be seen as separate but closely-spaced points of light. The ISS is bigger, so will appear as the brighter object leading the smaller Discovery as they move across the sky. After docking, the ISS will be brighter yet with the additional surface area provided by the docked shuttle. Of course, your viewing ability will depend on cloud cover.

To find out if you’ll be able to see spaceships in your area, there are a few different sites to check out:

NASA has a Skywatch page where you can find your specific city to look for satellite sighting info.

Spaceweather.com, has a Satellite Tracker Tool. Just put in your zip code (good for the US and Canada) to find out what satellites will be flying over your house.

Heaven’s Above also has a city search, but also you can input your exact latitude and longitude for exact sighting information, helpful if you live out in the country.

Seeing the two spacecraft flying closely in tandem is a very unique and thrilling sight. Good luck!

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1 Response

  1. RUF says

    It seem that I always get these time-sensitive stories a day late. I got this story on wednesday, too late to see what the story was talking about.

    I could be meteor shower peak that happened the day before I get newsletter, or a planetary conjunction that happened yesterday, ect…

    Is there any way to get these stories with a little more lead-time? I would enjoy that!

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