International Space Station will be visible to the naked eye TWICE on Boxing Day – where and when to see it

YOU can spot the International Space Station (ISS) on two occasions on Boxing Day, for a grand total of eight minutes, according to Nasa.

The sighting isn’t particularly rare – but two passes in one evening or morning requires the right, Goldilocks-style, conditions.


The streak in the sky is the International Space Station (ISS) captured in a long-exposure camera shot over Aberystwyth, Wales, UK, on Christmas Eve 2014[/caption]

Fortunately, on 26 December, the conditions will be perfect for a double viewing of the 240-foot long orbital outpost.

This sighting will only be suitable for the early risers among us, however.

Plus, you’ll need a compass – but most smartphones have those built into them, these days.

If you’re hoping to simply look up and see it, you may be out of luck.

According to Nasa’s Spot the Station website, you first need to understand the height at which the station will be visible and where it will appear and disappear from sight. 

To work out where in the sky the station will be visible, you need to know that 90 degrees is directly above you and 0 degrees is on the horizon. 

What time will the ISS appear in the UK?

The first sighting is due to occur over London, UK, at roughly 5:11am.

At this time, the ISS will be visible for approximately two minutes, according to the Spot the Station website.

It will appear 26 degrees east and disappear once it swings to 10 degrees east.

The second sighting will occur at 6:44am for about six minutes.

This time, the ISS will appear 21 degrees west and vanish 10 degrees east again.

Likewise, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the ISS can be spotted in the sky twice – the first at 5:10am for one minute, 19 degrees above east-southeast, before hiding again at 10 degrees above east.

With the second viewing at 6:43am, 22 degrees above west-southwest.

The ISS will appear at slightly different times, at varying degrees – or not at all.

Be sure you check exactly when the sighting will occur over your city on Nasa’s Spot the Station website.

What time will the ISS appear in the US?

On the other side of the Atlantic, in Washington DC, folks will be disappointed to know that the ISS won’t be visible from that area.

However, those in New York will be able to see the ISS at 6:22am on Boxing Day for around three minutes.

During this time, it will be visible 10 degrees above north-northwest, before vanishing at 10 degrees above northeast.

Again, double check with the Spot the Station website to make sure the ISS will be visible from where you live – and exactly where in the sky it will be found.

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