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September 19, 2019

Here's how to see the International Space Station orbiting above Philly in the coming days

The flying science laboratory will be visible zipping across the sky in the region on Thursday, Friday and Sunday

Space Space
international space station philly NASA/SIPA USA

The International Space Station will be visible from Philadelphia on Sept. 19 and 20 and Sept. 22. Above, the SpaceX Crew Dragon os seem approaching the International Space Station's Harmony module in March 2019.

The International Space Station will be visible in the sky above the Philadelphia area beginning Thursday night in into the weekend, but you'll need to know where and when to look.

The science laboratory orbiting above the Earth is regularly visible because it reflects the light of the sun. However, the station is not bright enough to see during the day. Depending on your location, it can be spotted once a month up to several times a week.


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In the Philadelphia region on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, star gazers could be able to catch a glimpse.

On Thursday, the space station will be visible for three minutes, starting at 8:47 p.m.. But Friday will probably be the best bet at catching it, as the station will be at its brightest and appear in the sky for six minutes, beginning at 7:59 p.m. 

On Sunday, it will be less bright, but still visible from 8:01 and 8:05 p.m. 

The International Space Station will appear like a bright star or even an airplane, but it will be moving much faster, traveling at a speed of 17,500 mph. The station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes.


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