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Catch an Extraordinary View of the International Space Station. Here's When to Watch

Catching a glimpse of something moving through the darkness at nearly 5 miles per second isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

You just need to know when and where to look.

For International Space Station watchers in Southern California, an extraordinary viewing opportunity arrives Saturday when the station zips overhead less than an hour after sunset. That fortunate timing means the ISS will be illuminated for several minutes by sunlight over the horizon against the dark background of the sky.

It’s the same phenomenon behind spectacular views offered by sunrise-and-sunset rocket launches in Southern California.

Here’s what to know.

How to Track the International Space Station

NASA provides a Spot the Station map. Just click on the closest location to you to find out when the ISS, orbiting about 250 miles above Earth at roughly 17,500 mph, will make its next pass.

When to Watch for the International Space Station

The ideal time this weekend will be Saturday about an hour after sunset, which is scheduled for 7:46 p.m. The best sighting opportunity in the Los Angeles area will be at 8:42 p.m. You’ll want to check NASA’s Spot the Station map for more exact times based on your location.

Where to Look for the Space Station

Look toward the southwest for what looks like a fast-moving star cruising steadily across the evening sky. The station will move from southwest to northeast. It should be visible to the naked eye for about seven minutes.

One tip. Head outside a few minutes before the fly-by to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness.

Enjoy the view.

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Source: NBC Los Angeles

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