Image: NASA

You can spot the International Space Station from your own backyard. It’s just a matter of timing.


To help you find the space station — the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon — NASA has launched a new alerts system called Spot the Station.

When the ISS will pass over your home, NASA will send you an email or text message a few hours in advance. You can even specify for morning or evening sightings (or both!). If your town isn’t listed, you should choose a nearby city or town, since the ISS should be visible for long distances from its 4,600 specified locations.

Depending on the space station’s orbit, there can be sightings as often as twice as week to once a month. The alerts are active for a year from your registration but can be extended.