Discover the space station with this new NASA app

International Space Station.

The International Space Station (ISS) orbits the Earth 16 times a day, which means that at some point it will likely pass by your neighborhood.

Even though it is 250 miles above our heads, the ISS is actually easy to spot thanks to the reflections that occur when sunlight bounces off its solar array. You just need to know when to look for it.

NASA already has a website to help you know when orbital headings pass overhead, and NASA will also notify you via email if you enter your address.

But on Thursday, the process got a lot easier with the launch of the new Spot the Station app iOS And Android.

This app provides additional capabilities and information to make the station sighting experience more engaging. For example, you can configure it to send notifications when passing by, and the augmented reality interface makes it easy for users to find stations. You can also use it to capture and share station imagery.

The date at the top of the app display shows the next time the ISS will be visible from your area. Select the date and you’ll be taken to an Upcoming Sightings page that lists all the nearby dates and times showing when the station is headed your way. You will notice that most sighting opportunities occur in the late afternoon or early morning. If you prefer not to receive notifications in the morning (these sightings will occur around 5am), then you can block them through the settings on the Upcoming Sightings page.

Returning to the main page, you will see a 3D representation of Earth showing the station’s current location, along with lines showing its location and destination. The 2D map below offers similar information but also shows day and night areas.

“Even after 23 years of continuous human presence on the International Space Station, it’s a joy to see the station when you look up at just the right moment,” Robyn Gatens, director of the ISS, said. said in a message announcing the new app. “The orbiting laboratory that continues to provide so many unique and tangible benefits to humanity is actually not that far away.”

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