When to see the International Space Station in October

ISS in the night sky. Photo: Paul Williams / via Flickr under creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
ISS in the night sky. Photo: Paul Williams / via Flickr under creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The International Space Station (ISS) will once again be visible over the next few weeks.

Throughout October it will be possible to spot the glowing space station as it passes overhead.

Orbiting the Earth the earth 15 times and appearing usually from the west or south west, the ISS is visible with the naked eye, given clear skies.

Online stargazing enthusiast Virtual Astronomer adds: “When the ISS passes over it will appear as an incredibly bright star like object or plane without flashing lights moving across the sky, it can be at times the brightest object in the night sky second to the Moon.

“It doesn’t matter where in the UK you are, as the times are for bright passes which will be visible from any part of the British Isles.” You can follow @VirtualAstro on Twitter or Facebook for ISS alerts.

Times are approximate depending on your exact location.

Brightest ISS passes during early October:

Wednesday, 7 October: beginning at 8:23:27 PM - duration 2:38

Thu, 8: 7:31 PM - dur. 4:31

Fri, 9: 8:15 PM - dur. 3:14

Sat, 10: 7:22 PM - dur. 5:09

Sun, 11: 8:06 PM - dur. 3:32

Mon, 12: 7:14 PM - dur. 5:28

Tue, 13: 7:58 PM - dur. 3:42

Wed, 14: 7:06 PM - dur. 5:40

Thu, 15: 7:50 PM - dur. 3:54

Fri, 16: 6:57 PM - dur. 5:55

- Data from NASA via iss.astroviewer.net.

More information: Spot the International Space Station atspotthestation.nasa.gov.

ISS: amazing space station facts

The ISS is the largest Space Station/laboratory ever built, orbiting the Earth at 17,500 mph at an altitude of roughly 200 miles. Here are more fascinating ISS facts:

- The first ISS module was launched in 1998.

- Five different space agencies representing 16 countries (including the UK) built the $100-billion International Space Station and continue to operate it today.

- The space station has been continuously occupied since November 2000.

- The ISS was taken into space piece-by-piece and gradually built in orbit involving 115 space flights.

- The ISS measures 357 feet end-to-end, with a solar array wingspan of 240 feet.

- The ISS travels at 17,227 miles per hour or 5 miles-per-second, completing around 15 orbits a day, circling the planet once every 90 minutes.

- A six-person expedition crew typically stays four to six months aboard the ISS.

- The space station has two bathrooms, a gymnasium and a 360-degree bay window, the liveable area roughly equivalent to one-and-a-half Boeing 747s.

- The urine of both the crewmembers and lab animals is filtered back into the station’s drinking water supply.

- The 75 to 90 kilowatts of power for the ISS is supplied by an acre of solar panels.

- If the crew needs to evacuate the station, they can return to Earth aboard two Russian Soyuz vehicles docked to the ISS.

- The ISS is expected to remain in operation until at least 2020, and potentially up to 2028.

See what the astronauts see right now - view the real-time position and route of the ISS.