—> 2016 —> How to spot the International Space Station on Islay

Disathairne, 04/Jun/2016

How to spot the International Space Station on Islay

Islay Events written in stencil

In last night's post Friday Islay picture of an ISS pass over Islay I promised to post a little widget to help those wanting to try spotting it. But before I get to that a link to a website which kind of started it for me, both watching meteors and trying to spot the ISS: Meteorwatch has all kinds of information about meteors, the ISS and when and how to watch them, very helpful. But now on to the widget which should provide more localised information:

NASA have created a Spot The Station minisite with all kinds of information where, when and how to spot the International Space Station. You can select a location and will be given information when the next pass is (and if you want to also future passes after it for longer term viewing planning). Now Islay isn't listed itself, the closest I could find was Coleraine in Northern Ireland (the closest place in Scotland was Glasgow I think). But with Coleraine being just across the North Channel it should be close enough to provide you with all the information you need (just as many people use the weather forecast as it is often more accurate for Islay than the Scotland forecast). Here's the widget:

I've spotted the ISS on Islay a number of times, on two occasions I managed to take pictures: International Space Station (ISS) passing over Kilchoman in 2015 and International Space Station (ISS) passing over Loch Indaal in 2016. Another time I watched it passing over Loch Indaal and Bowmore from the beach at Uiskentuie with friends on our way back from an evening out in Bridgend, a great end to the evening. Ideally try to be away from a place with any light pollution, but with fairly little of that on Islay anyway you should be able to spot it almost anywhere. On a clear evening look into the direction where it should appear from and you will soon spot its bright reflection racing over the sky. Happy spotting!

PS: I'm not sure if it will happen again this year, but the last two years it was passing over the UK at Christmas. If you have young children who still believe in Santa you can take them outside on Christmas Eve and tell them it's Santa in his sleigh on his way with the presents…

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