How To Spot the ISS As It Soars Through the Sky During Its Most Viewable Nights
By Andrew Fazekas, National Geographic // May 27, 2016
(National Geographic) – Step outside on a clear night over the next few days, and you’ve got a great chance of seeing the International Space Station (ISS) as it glides across the heavens. Pick the right night, and you may even see it zoom by multiple times in a row.
The ISS is about the size of an American football field and is covered with shiny metal surfaces and lots of highly reflective solar panels. That makes the station easily visible with the naked eye, even from light-polluted city centers.
Its brilliance is so impressive that sometimes it’s the second brightest object in the night sky, after the moon.
Normally the ISS is hidden in Earth’s shadow about 30 percent of the time, offering observers a modest one or two viewings a night.