A great poet once said that, “tranquility spawns from the skies.” The reason why camp sites and rural visits are a norm to many people is because there is peace in taking in the twinkle delights in the heavens. Somehow the allure of the moon coupled with the constellation of stars is simply magical. You can feel the pull once your neck cranes upwards and your eyes find the dark mass of navy decorated with celestial beings. A lot of people also enjoy the thought of infiltrating space, it intrigues them. What would it be like to leave earth? Are there aliens in the other planets? Can humans survive anywhere else apart from earth? Does the moon really look like cheese?
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been trying to satisfy human curiosity for decades. Multiple projects have been launched by the independent US agency over the years. Currently, NASA is making substantial progress towards project Artemis, which involves landing the first woman on the moon. The space agency recently announced that the International Space Station will be visible to the naked eye in Nairobi. Yes, to all Kenyans who enjoy raking their eyes all over the skies, you will be able to spot the ISS! Of course, you need a telescope or at least a pair of binoculars for a better view but it will all be worth it when you properly catch the sight of this incredible vessel. Over the next 6 days, Kenyans can sight the spacecraft and many have expressed their excitement on varied social media platforms. NASA gave elaborate details on their website on what time Kenyans can see the ISS.
Let’s see the history of the spacecraft and when exactly Kenyans can spot the spacecraft.
The International Space Station
The first component of the artificial satellite was first launched in the year 1998. As it progressed, it became a safe abode for humans with it suspended in the Earth’s low orbit. In November 2000, the first long-term residents arrived on the ISS and twenty years later, the spacecraft is one of the most important satellites to all matters space.
Now the crew living on the ISS uses the space environment laboratory to research and conduct experiments in astronomy, meteorology, physics and biology. The ISS orbits our planet from approximately 402km above every 90 minutes. This is insanely fast and I can’t help but wonder how slow we look from up there! If you have ever watched ‘Zootopia’, earth probably moves like a sloth.
Last year, Kenyans enjoyed the ISS sightings between March 14th and 24th.
Report on when Kenyans can spot the ISS today and through the week
As I had stated earlier, this particular spacecraft moves really fast so to the naked eye it will resemble a fast-moving plane whooshing across the skies. The following sightings were scheduled for today.
This was today’s sighting at 6:05 AM.
Visible 1 min
Max Height 15 degrees
Appears 11 degrees above NNE
Disappears 15 degrees above SE
Monday seems to hold a lucky streak as another sighting will occur tonight at 7: 20 PM.
Visible 2 min
Max Height 18 degrees
Appears 18 degrees above NW
Disappears 10 degrees above N
Now the chart allocating the time, visibility, maximum height, appearance and disappearance of the spacecraft is interpreted as follows;
Visible; This is the maximum time period the ISS can be seen before it vanishes below the horizon.
Appears; Shows where the spacecraft will be seen at the very beginning. The letters represent the compass directions.
Disappears; Shows where in the skies the space station will escape your line of view.
Time; These are the local time zones in which you will be able to spot the ISS. All these sightings will occur a few hours before or after sunrise or sunset. This time is set like this so as to capture the view of the ISS properly.
Max Height; Measured in degrees of elevation. It shows the height of the space station from the horizon in the night sky.
Well there you have it! Don’t miss these incredible sightings!
Here is a fun fact; The crew living in the ISS sees 16 sunrises and sunsets every day. How cool is that?