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NASA helps watchers spot space station

Nov. 5, 2012 at 7:42 PM   |   Comments

HOUSTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- NASA has announced a service that will send people an email or text message to help them catch sight of the International Space Station when is passes overhead.

The "Spot the Station" program was announced to mark the 12th anniversary of crews continuously living and working aboard the International Space Station, the space agency said.

When the station is visible, usually at dawn and dusk, it is the brightest object in the night sky, other than the moon, and can be seen as a fast moving point of light similar in size and brightness to the planet Venus, NASA officials said.

"It's really remarkable to see the space station fly overhead and to realize humans built an orbital complex that can be spotted from Earth by almost anyone looking up at just the right moment," said William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations.

People who sign up at spotthestation.nasa.gov can choose to receive alerts about morning sighting opportunities, evening sightings or both, NASA said.

The sighting information is calculated by NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for more than 4,600 locations worldwide, all of which are available on "Spot the Station."

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