Watch astronauts at the International Space Station make pizza in zero gravity
Space lovers in cities across the United States should look up this weekend, NASA says.
The International Space Station will be traveling over the Eastern U.S. on Friday and Saturday, on an orbital path that will make it visible from New Orleans, Louisiana, on the Gulf Coast up to Portland, Maine, on the country’s Eastern seaboard, according to NASA.
The space agency said in a news release Friday that Americans will be able to spot the huge satellite for a couple minutes in cities across the country shortly after 9 or 10 p.m. local time.
“It’s super easy,” NASA spokeswoman Stephanie Schierholz said of spotting the station, the Arizona Republic reports. The station will be visible above Phoenix around 8:50 p.m. local time, according to the newspaper, which reports that the station “is clearly visible with the naked eye. Neither binoculars nor a telescope is needed.”
On Friday, Louisiana sky-watchers in Baton Rouge and New Orleans can expect to see it around 9:14 p.m. Central time, followed by Tampa, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia, at 10:15 p.m. Eastern.
Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Kentucky, will catch a glimpse around 10:16 p.m. Eastern, and then Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Columbus, Ohio, will be able to see the station overhead at 10:17 p.m. Eastern.
Next come Baltimore, Maryland, Philadelphia and New York City at 10:18 p.m., followed by Boston and Portland, Maine, at 10:19 p.m. Eastern, according to NASA.
Saturday’s schedule hits a similar list of cities, starting with Tampa, Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina, at 9:25 p.m. Eastern, according to NASA. That’s followed by Raleigh, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, at 9:26 p.m. Eastern, and then Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York a minute later.
The show ends Saturday night with Boston at 9:28 p.m. and Portland at 9:29 p.m. Eastern.
When looking up for the station, viewers should get their directional bearings first, the Republic reports: The station usually flies north to south or vice versa through the sky — and it will look like a “bright, moving dot” that, unlike airplanes, will not have blinking lights.
Head to NASA’s “Spot the Space Station” website for more sighting opportunities. Space fanatics can even sign up for email or text alerts to let them know when the space station will pass overhead.
The space station is huge, according to NASA: Its living and working space is bigger than a six-bedroom house, and the facility has its own gym. From end to end, it measures 357 feet, according to NASA, making the space station “one yard shy of the full length of an American football field including the end zones.”
The station travels five miles a second and orbits Earth every 90 minutes carrying its six-person international crew, according to NASA. Astronauts have occupied the space station non-stop since 2000.