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International Space Station visible in orbit over the UK until the beginning of June

Chance to wave at the manned spacecraft

Geraldine Gardner

Geraldine Gardner


01635 886684

Coming around again - International Space Station orbiting the UK over the next three weeks

International Space Station photographed by Tim Burgess in Thatcham

THE International Space Station will be visible as it passes over the UK over the next 16 days, between May 15 and June 1. 

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 is a huge space station that serves as an orbital laboratory, factory, testing ground and home, with crew members conducting experiments from biology to astronomy. 

Spotting the space station is very easy and you don’t need any special equipment – just your eyes and a camera!

It always passes over starting from a westerly part of the sky, but not always from the same point. It can be low on the horizon for some passes and very high for others. 

The best times to see it this weekend and appearing from the south west, are Friday, May 15, at 10.50pm and again at 27 minutes past midnight, Saturday, May 16, at 10.03pm and again at 11.39pm, and on Sunday, May 17, you could spot it at 10.51pm.

There are other passes during the night that we haven't included, but if you fancy camping out under the stars there will be two or three opportunities in the early hours of the morning.

Each pass lasts about three minutes and they are predicted to be very bright, but please note they are subject to change at the last minute - if the International Space Station performs an orbital boost and changes its orbit - and we will keep the times as updated as we can.

Next week's times will be posted on Monday. Spaceship incoming

As usual we would love to see your photographs of the satellite, star constellations or planets. Tim Burgess took the picture above from his garden in Thatcham, so the bar has been set. Email and we will create a cosmic gallery for May.

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