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Return of the International Space Station
AFTER an absence of a couple of months, the International Space Station (ISS) is visible in our evening sky again. During the next week we'll have some gorgeous views of it - weather permitting, of course.
If you already know all about spotting the ISS you can just jump ahead to the list of dates and times below. If you don't, then you might be surprised to learn that you can actually see the space station crossing the night sky sometimes. We can see it because, orbiting high above the Earth, it is lit by the Sun long after darkness has fallen down here. With the Sun reflecting off its solar panels it looks like a brilliant blue-white star arcing across the sky.
If you want to see it, go outside at the following times on the dates given, face the west, and wait for a bright star to start climbing up from behind the horizon. That's the ISS (If your ‘star’ is flashing, it's a plane). It will then head towards the east, fading out of sight eventually. Binoculars will make it look even brighter, and bring out some of the gold tint of sunlight flashing off its solar panels.
October 17: 20.08; 18th: 19.20 and again at 20.57; 19th: 20.09; 20th: 19.21 and again at 20.57; 21st: 18.32 and again at 20.09.
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