Last night as I was getting our dinner ready, the Snook said, “Do you wanna see the space station? It’s flying over in 4 minutes!” He had been reading this Reddit thread about how it was going to be visible over Sydney. So we ran out into the backyard, argued for a few minutes about the accuracy of our competing mobile phone compasses, and then he said, “THERE IT IS!” It was incredibly bright, far brighter than anything else in the sky (even in the middle of the city) and moving very quickly. We took turns peering at it through binoculars, but it was actually quite difficult to keep it in view given its speed (and all you could see was a bright dot anyway). I snapped a quick ISS selfie. In less than 5 minutes, it was gone! It was such a cool thing to see, a tiny bright dot that’s actually a space station bigger than a soccer field with six people in it, hurtling around the Earth. We are living in the future.
Today I learned that the ISS’s orbit means it flies over a lot, but not necessarily always in the same place. If you live in Sydney, here’s a schedule of when it will be overhead. If you live elsewhere, you can sign up for alerts from NASA, or install an iOS app that gives you notifications.