How to spot the ISS
How to spot the ISS

Find somewhere with a relatively open view of the sky and head there several minutes before the ISS passes above. Expect the ISS to rise in the west (the direction the Sun sets in), and consider using Spot the Station to find out exactly what direction it will be traveling in and how high in the sky it will be. A listed height of 90 degrees means the ISS will pass directly overhead. For lower heights, you can count from either the horizon (0 degrees) or directly overhead using your fist, which spans roughly 10 degrees when extended at arm’s length. 

The ISS should appear as a bright and solid light gliding across the sky. It should move quickly and usually crosses the sky in minutes. Unlike an airplane, the light of the space station won’t blink, though on occasion it may flash brighter (not repeatedly) as sunlight catches the station at just the right angle. There should not be much risk of confusing the ISS with SpaceX’s thousands of Starlink satellites now in orbit, since the ISS ought to be much brighter.

You don’t need any special equipment to see the International Space Station under good conditions. Binoculars will make it appear brighter and more colorful, though, and with the right telescope setup, it is possible to make out the station’s solar arrays and even its individual modules. 

Originally published at

Previous articleNonprofit Stronger than the Storm Launches Children’s Books that Teach Resilience & Understanding During Difficult Times
Next articleTodd Caccamo Leads Canton Township In Holding Memorial to Fallen Marines