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International Space Station passes over the UK for May 2021



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The International Space Station (ISS) will be visible over the UK from tonight (Friday, May 14) for the next fortnight.

The ISS will appear for around three minutes at 9.51pm and a brighter pass at 11.26pm.

The ISS always appear from the south west and travels in a straight line to the east. It is usually visible for between three and five minutes.

ISS station on orbit of the Earth planet. Elements of this image furnished by NASA
ISS station on orbit of the Earth planet. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

The station will be visible throughout the rest of May, tomorrow around 10.39pm, Sunday, 9.52pm and 11.28pm, Monday, 10.40pm and so on.

The best thing to do is to wrap up warm and get outside a few minutes before its scheduled appearance, in order to acclimatise your eyes to the night sky, and then watch out for the bright light and wave to the astronauts as they fly over.

Watching the ISS fly over is a great way of getting youngsters interested in the night sky. On a clear evening you can point out the spaceship as it flies past star constellations and planets visible to the naked eye.

Tim Burgess, Thatcham captures close up of ISS
Tim Burgess, Thatcham captures close up of ISS

The ISS is the largest space station/laboratory ever built and can be seen with the naked eye at certain times as it orbits Earth at 17,500mph at an altitude of roughly 200 miles.

It serves as an orbital laboratory, factory, testing ground and home, with crew members conducting experiments from biology to astronomy.

The weather forecast is not great over the next week, but hopefully there will be a break in the cloud cover on some evenings to enable ISS spotters to see the space station.

Here are some pictures of the ISS captured by people in and around Newbury in the last year.

Elizabeth Argyll, Newbury
Elizabeth Argyll, Newbury
ISS over Highclere
ISS over Highclere
Tim Burgess, Thatcham
Tim Burgess, Thatcham
Phil Cannings
Phil Cannings


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