international space station ISS

Image via Twitter: ISS

ISS: Here’s when SA will be able to see the International Space Station

You’ll definitely want to spend some time looking up at the sky tonight! The International Space Station will be visible from SA.

international space station ISS

Image via Twitter: ISS

Space is a wonderful thing. And with so much public focus on space exploration and space tourism over the last year, SA is now getting blessed with its own weekend sighting. Sure, it’s not a multi-million dollar celebrity flight to space, but we take what we can get. On Saturday night, Capetonians will be able to see the International Space Station as it passes over South Africa. You’ll have to act fast though, as while it will be visible to the naked eye at full brightness, you’ll have less than 10 minutes to see it.

Also Read – This is what Earth looks like from the International Space Station [photos]

ISS fly-past: What time can Cape Town see the International Space Station?

The International Space Station being visible from Cape Town, and being visible at full brightness are totally different things. And on Saturday night from 8:06PM, the ISS will be at its peak for viewing. The viewing window lasts just under 7-minutes, and will be at its brightest for naked-eye viewing, from about 8:09PM.

BUT, this all depends on what the cloud situation is like at the time. And with rain pouring down in many parts of Cape Town on Saturday morning, the clouds may be in no mood to open up for a space sighting.

A special space sighting

According to data from Astro Viewer, the ISS can easily be spotted with the naked eye. Because of its size (110m x 100m x 30m), it reflects a large amount of sunlight. According to the space experts, the best time to observe the ISS is when it is nighttime AND the space station is sunlit. The two coming together is key for the best visibility.

But what about if you’re in Johannesburg? While the city of gold won’t get a maximum brightness International Space Station sighting this weekend, the best viewing opportunity will come at just after 6:30PM

International Space Station ISS
Photo: AstroViewer

Set your alarms, folks. This is an appointment that you can’t even be 2 minutes late for.