More ISS Viewing Opportunities In Ireland And UK

Ireland as seen from the ISS. Image c/o Astro Ireland.
The enormous 500 tonne International Space Station (ISS) was blasted 10 kilometres further out into space yesterday in a move designed to put it in the correct place when a new spacecraft visits it at the end of the month.

This has given Irish observers an unexpected chance to see it for three more nights than originally expected.

"Tonight, Thursday, was to be the last chance to see the craft with its six astronauts aboard until October," said David Moore, Editor of Astronomy Ireland magazine "But now we can see it on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well."

"Thousands of people across Ireland have been going out each evening after sunset to see the huge manned space station blaze across the sky for the past 10 days," he said.

"This is 'space history' in the making. History books will record the ISS like the three ships that Columbus set sail in to discover the Americas as ISS is humankind's first outpost in space," said Mr Moore.
Ireland at night as seen from the ISS. Image NASA
The International Space Station is the largest spacecraft ever to be put into orbit, and the most expensive thing ever built, at approximately €100 billion.

The huge craft is roughly the size of Croke Park, and its massive solar panels reflect sunlight, making it appear extremely bright when seen from Earth.  It currently has a crew of six astronauts on board, made of five men and one woman.

It is also the only manned spacecraft that can be seen from Ireland.

ISS looks like an extremely bright star that takes a couple of minutes to cross the sky, moving from right to left as you stand facing south.

"It can be up to 100 times brighter than the very brightest star in the sky! So it is absolutely unmistakable," said Mr Moore.

The only problem is that ISS passes over Ireland at a different time every evening but Astronomy Ireland will give the exact minute to go out and watch each afternoon on its website for free.

"Why not get the whole family out to watch the six astronauts fly over Ireland," said Mr Moore "They often tell us they enjoy looking down on Ireland as they have come across the fairly bland Atlantic Ocean and the intense green of Ireland grabs their attention as one of the most colourful places on the planet they say."

Timetable for viewing. Image c/o