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International Space Station could be visible Sunday night

Island residents may be able to see the ISS overhead at 6:38 p.m. on Sunday
The orbit of the International Space Station means it could be visible Sunday night as it flies overhead. (Courtesy of Ignazio Magnani/Twitter)

The International Space Station will be visible over Vancouver Island Sunday night at approximately 6:38 p.m., weather permitting.

If the sky is cloudless, residents should be able to see a light like a plane or bright star move across the sky, as the ISS orbits above the Island.

The ISS travels far quicker than a plane, circling the Earth every 90 minutes reaching speeds of 28,000 kiometres per hour. For the crew on board, the speeds mean they see 16 sunrises and sunsets every day, according to NASA’s Spot the Station web page.

While this means the ISS may pass overhead fairly frequently, it isn’t always visible.

The space station is visible because it reflects the light of the sun; the same reason the moon can be seen. But the space station isn’t bright enough to see during the day, meaning it can only be made out when it is dawn or dusk.

Since its orbit also changes, meaning it doesn’t pass over the same point at the same time. This means sighting opportunities could happen once a month or up to several times a week.

The Weather Network says the sky will be mainly clear overnight on Sunday, with some cloudy patches.

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