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NASA Launches System to Alert Folks When International Space Station’s Visible

When they’re not trying to explore the vast reaches of space, NASA always seems to be working on involving the public in their various endeavors. The more folks are aware of what’s going on in space, the more likely they are to want to do more out there. It’s for this reason that the agency has now launched a service they’re calling “Spot the Station,” where anyone interested can sign up to be alerted when the International Space Station should be visible in the night sky.

Given that the International Space Station is the third brightest object in the sky, dwarfed only by the Sun and the Moon, it’s not hard to spot if you know when and where to look for it. The problem is just keeping track of where it should be at what time. At least, that’s what NASA apparently thinks is stopping folks from checking it out as it streaks across the sky. Either way, the process is about to get a whole lot simpler.

After signing up, the service will send an email or text message a few hours before the station is supposed to show up. Even better than that, it will automatically filter any potential sightings that wouldn’t be classified as “good.” If the station will be high enough in the sky and last long enough, it’ll push the alert. Depending on its current orbit, alerts could come in as frequently as once or twice a week or as infrequently as the same amount over a month.

(Spot the Station via NASA, Phys.Org)

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