International Space Station caught on video in Shimla: Here is how to track the ISS at your location


A skygazer in Shimla caught a clear video recording of the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS moves at a speed of 7.6 kilometres per second, at an orbital height of 400 kilometres. The video shows a bright point of light rapidly moving across clear skies.

NASA has made the ISS pretty easy to track and spot. The ISS sighting web page points to locations around the world and lists sighting opportunities. The space station is typically visible for between one to four minutes, and the best time to view it is in the few hours around sunrise or sunset. During these times, the light from the sun reflects off the ISS, making it a bright spot in a dark sky.



Users can search their locations in the search bar, which gives a number of options. If the exact location is not available, just look for a nearby location. This throws up a list of time periods when the ISS can be viewed from that location. The ISS completes a little more than fifteen orbits a day, so it is possible for multiple sighting windows to be available in a single day. We will be using the example of a couple of places across india, but any location can be chosen for viewing sighting opportunities.


From the sightings window, users can set up alerts for when the ISS is about to come into view, share the timings on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, or set up an RSS feed to be used in various ways.

Additionally, NASA offers realtime tracking of the ISS. There are three components to the realtime tracking. There is an orbital view that shows the path the Space Station is following, and where it is currently located on a world map. There is a zoomed in satellite view, where the ground is shown as it appears below the space station. Finally, there is a live stream pulled from the various cameras on board the ISS. The live stream can at times go blank.