SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The International Space Station is the third-brightest object in the sky, and people in Springfield will get their chance to see it with the naked eye from tonight until Thanksgiving.
The space station will look like a plane to the naked eye, but it will be faster, moving at around 600 mph, according to NASA.
Photographers using a long exposure will get an image that looks like a shooting star. If you’re using a telescope, you’ll need to be fast, but you should be able to see details of the station as it passes by.
For the next week or so, the ISS will spend anywhere from one to six minutes above the horizon. Here’s where to look:
|Date||Time||Visible minutes||Max Height||Appears||Disappears|
|Nov. 18||5:49 p.m.||6 minutes||63°||10° above SW||16° above ENE|
|Nov. 18||7:27 p.m.||1 minute||13°||10° above WNW||13° above WNW|
|Nov. 19||6:38 p.m.||4 minutes||25°||10° above W||23° above N|
|Nov. 20||5:49 p.m.||6 minutes||41°||10° above WSW||11° above NE|
|Nov. 21||6:39 p.m.||2 minutes||13°||10° above NW||13° above N|
|Nov. 22||5:50 p.m.||5 minutes||18°||10° above WNW||10° above NNE|
|Nov. 24||5:51 p.m.||2 minutes||11°||10° above NNW||10° above N|
If you need an explainer of what these directions mean, here’s a walkthrough of tonight’s first viewing:
- Starting at 5:49 p.m., the ISS should appear just above the horizon to the southwest.
- During the six minutes it’s visible, it will arc across the sky. The horizon is 0°. If you look straight up, that’s 90°, and halfway between straight up and the horizon is 45°. In this example, the ISS’ arc will go past that halfway mark before it starts coming down again.
- The ISS will disappear above the horizon to the east-northeast. East-northeast is halfway between east and northeast. Take a look at the compass rose below for reference.
To put it into perspective, if you’re in downtown Springfield, the ISS will show up over Battlefield, reach its height over Galloway Village, and disappear over Strafford.