This Christmas Eve, in addition to the family dinner, you can also enjoy the trail that the ISS (International Space Station) leaves across the sky as if it were the same sleigh of Pap Noel. Here we show you how to track it and see it at the most appropriate time.
The ISS orbits the earth many times a day but it is at night when it can best be observed between the stars and the sky. This Christmas, if the weather conditions allow it, be a good time to observe its passage as if it were the same Santa Claus.
When can I see the ISS over the sky?
Although we invite you to do it this Christmas, along with the rest of the family members, it is clear that your vision can take place daily. Here we tell you certain applications that will facilitate your identification.
The ISS, in fact, passes through Spain every day. It orbits the Earth 16 times a day, but some of those passes are during the day, which complicates its visibility depending on the rite pattern of its rite. If you miss the ISS on Christmas Eve, you can use the same applications the rest of the year.
In fact, last year, the ISS was only visible during the morning of Christmas Eve around 07:30 AM. The times for 2019 have not been made public yet, but NASA reports in advance and we tell you.
How can I track the ISS?
During the day, it is much more difficult to detect the ISS, but at night, everything changes and it turns out that it ends up being the third brightest object in the sky moving as if it were an airplane crossing the skies, even if it does so much more height and faster.
It is advisable not to create high expectations for the little ones, since it may be that the vision is not perfect, especially if it is cloudy, but then we recommend the use of some applications to locate it.
In fact, there are some that behave as authentic trackers of the ISS and it is enough that you install it in your mobile phone to obtain detailed information about its trajectory at each moment, in addition to other type of curious information.
GoISSWatch ISS Tracking
This free application available for both Android and iOS, is one of the best you can find in the Store. It allows you to use the compass to help you know exactly where to aim to detect the ISS that passes over it.
It also offers estimates of times when to go over our heads, depending on the location, and the exact time at which visibility will be better, including meteorological information.
With the notification system, GoISSWatch ISS Tracking It can inform you five minutes before each pass so you do not miss it or you can try again if the previous pass you could not see it well.
Another alternative application you can try is ISS Finder. Again, it is quite accurate, although its design is not as polished as the previous one. It has a night mode that can simulate the best conditions and leave aside the pollution.
Although we prefer the 3D illustration displayed by the GoISSWatch App that helps determine where to look in the sky, ISS Finder is less obvious, but it also allows you to identify the object well over the space.
What frankly does ISS Finder is the star ratings section to help you determine the best time to see it. We have also found in the application interesting information about the crew on board the ISS.
A third application that we recommend you try is ISS Satellite Tracker Detector. It shows a back account for the next ISS pass that turns out to be quite useful, with a 3D tracking diagram similar to that used by GoISSWatch, with elevation meter.
You can also activate notifications quickly to make sure you don't miss the next pass. You must be patient with the ads that appear in most of these applications, they can be somewhat irritating, but in return you get the free app.
NASA mail alerts
You must know that NASA has a dedicated website that will allow you to view and subscribe also to alerts or text messages when the ISS flies above your usual location. It also has interesting tips.
NASA points out that the Space Station It is the third brightest object you see in the sky, simulating an airplane that moves quickly, until you appreciate that it has no flashing lights. You locate it by its speed of movement in front of another object.
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