Star-gazing in Marin just got a bit more interesting.
For those that don't already know: You can see the International Space Station from your house, and NASA has created a service to give you a heads up when it's possible to do so.
"As the third brightest object in the sky, after the sun and moon, the space station is easy to see if you know where and when to look for it," according to NASA.
NASA’s Spot the Station service sends you an email or text message a few hours before the space station passes over your house. The space station looks like a fast-moving plane in the sky, though one with people living and working aboard it more than 200 miles above the ground. It is best viewed on clear nights.
The Spot the Station service is availble to anyone with an email account or an SMS-enabled phone. Several times a week, Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, determines sighting opportunities for 4,600 locations worldwide. Those locations include Mill Valley and Novato. NASA says the space station is visible for a long distance around each of the listed locations.
"This service will only notify you of 'good' sighting opportunities – that is, sightings that are high enough in the sky (40 degrees or more) and last long enough to give you the best view of the orbiting laboratory," according to NASA. "This will be anywhere from once or twice a week to once or twice a month, depending on the space station’s orbit.
A complete list of all possible space station sightings is available from Johnson Space Center.