How many times have you been canoe camping in the Boundary Waters and spotted something in the sky you couldn’t identify? It happens more than you may realize. Just this morning a guest told me about a flashing object in the sky that went up and down and side to side. It was large and remained in the sky so long they finally went back into the tent resigned to the fact they could be swooped up by a UFO any minute.
They also saw a large lighted object moving across the sky that was much bigger than a satellite. I saw the same object last night so I decided to do an internet search. I found out that the International Space Station was above us last night and determined that was what I saw. As for the other object it is still a UFO.
If you are wondering what is flying in the night sky you can find out by looking at this website and if you want to know about the ISS then check out the NASA website and signing up to receive alerts. Below is what you will receive.
“ SpotTheStation! Time: Wed Apr 25 7:45 PM, Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 66 degrees, Appears: WSW, Disappears NE. ”
Time is when the sighting opportunity will begin in your local time zone. All sightings will occur within a few hours before or after sunrise or sunset. This is the optimum viewing period as the sun reflects off the space station and contrasts against the darker sky.
Visible is the maximum time period the space station is visible before crossing back below the horizon.
Max Height is measured in degrees (also known as elevation). It represents the height of the space station from the horizon in the night sky. The horizon is at zero degrees, and directly overhead is ninety degrees. If you hold your fist at arm’s length and place your fist resting on the horizon, the top will be about 10 degrees.
Appears is the location in the sky where the station will be visible first. This value, like maximum height, also is measured in degrees from the horizon. The letters represent compass directions — N is north, WNW is west by northwest, and so on.
Disappears represents where in the night sky the International Space Station will leave your field of view