Mid March 2017 sees the International Space Station (ISS) pass over the UK in the morning sky ahead of sunrise. If you’re up early to work and see a bright star-like object steadily crossing the sky on a roughly west to east trajectory, then chances are you’ve just seen the space station! At the end of March, after about a break of 10 days or so, the ISS reappears in the evening sky for a series of passes that take us into April 2017.
ISS – Image Credit NASA
How to identify the space station this March
The International Space Station is easy to identify. It shines by reflected sunlight bouncing off its body and solar panels. From the UK, 250 miles beneath the space station, we see this reflected sunlight as a bright point of light sailing silently across the sky. It is very luminous, shining brighter than any of the stars in the early morning sky – and shining brighter than Jupiter, which sits as a static point of light towards the southwest that time of morning.
If the object flashes then you’ll be seeing something other than the space station. You’re basically looking for a constant bright ...