Spot the Space Station from the UK – Spring 2018
The ISS over the Earth. Credit: NASA

Spot the Space Station from the UK – Spring 2018

21/05/2018Written by Tamela Maciel

Find out how you can spot the International Space Station as it flies over the UK this May 2018.

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Path of the ISS. Credit: JFcheese via imgur

Watch the skies! The International Space Station is back over the UK with some excellent evening flyovers in late May 2018. If the weather’s clear, now is the perfect chance to pop outside and catch a glimpse of this orbiting science lab, home to astronauts since 2000.

The International Space Station (ISS) orbits the Earth every 90 minutes, 400 kilometres above our heads. But the ISS isn’t always visible from the UK. The path of its orbit changes relative to the ground below so we only get a good chance to see it every few months.

This May 2018, viewers in the UK have some particularly excellent viewing opportunities.

We’ve picked out the best times for the UK below, based on convenient times and the height that ISS will be above the horizon (and nearby buildings and trees). But if you’re a night owl and don’t mind staying up late, check out the additional flyover times on NASA’s Spot the Station page.

Sighting the ISS couldn’t be easier, and you don’t need any special kit. Just pop outside a few minutes before the time that the ISS is due to arrive and face west. Keep your eyes peeled for a bright, rapidly moving point of light, travelling west to east.

The max height means how many degrees above the horizon the ISS will reach, with 0 degrees being the horizon, and 90 degrees being straight up.

Currently there are six astronauts on board the ISS, conducting research and learning more about how the human body adapts to space.

Happy ISS sightings!