With NASA’s announcement of the possible discovery of life on Mars last night, everyone in Ireland can get a look at the International Space Station which is expected to be used as the launch post as the first manned mission to Mars.
Tonight (December 17) the ISS will blaze across the sky at 6:28pm, it will be almost overhead and by far the brightest object in the sky, outshining the brightest stars, so everyone will be able to see it with the naked eye, even if they live in a brightly lit city.
On board the most expensive object ever built are 6 astronauts, 5 men and 1 woman.
The ISS will be the brightest object in the sky as it passes over Ireland, outshining even the brightest star in the sky by a factor of 10 to 100 times.
“ISS is an amazing sight when it appears in evening skies. Even those out walking their dog have called us the next day to ask what that bright light was in the sky?” said David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland, who has been predicting when manned spaceships are visible in Irish skies since the 1980’s.
The ISS is the biggest man-made object in space. At over 400 tonnes, and bigger than a football pitch, it took dozens of space shuttle missions over a decade to assemble mankind’s first outpost in space.
“ISS is extremely important to manned space exploration. It will surely go down in history in much the same way as school children now learn the names of Columbus’ three ships that set sail for the Americas” said David Moore.
“We are urging everyone in Ireland to get the whole family out every evening to watch space history in the making, and report to Astronomy Ireland what they see. The best reports will be included in a special article in our magazine that will be archived for posterity in the National Library of Ireland” he said.
WHEN TO WATCH
The ISS can be seen at a different time every evening from now until December 28th. To get the most accurate time to see it from Ireland members of the public should check Astronomy Ireland’s website www.astronomy.ie every evening at sunset.