The International Space Station (ISS) has had crew continuously onboard for 12 years. To commemorate the occasion and get everyone else in on the celebration, too, NASA has created a web app that will text or email the time that you will be able to view the space station from your location. They’ve called this app “Spot the Station.”
According to NASA, the ISS is the second brightest object in the night sky (the first is the moon, of course), so it will be easily visible to the naked eye. You’ll recognize the satellite because 1) it’s pretty bright and 2) is moving at a steady, brisk pace across the sky. The web app tells you the general direction in the sky to watch for the satellite, too.
NASA has given an example of what the message will look like and a description of how to interpret it to ensure users are successful at finding the satellite.
Your text or email would look something like this:
“ SpotTheStation! Time: Wed Apr 25 7:45 PM, Visible: 4 min, Max Height: 66 degrees, Appears: WSW, Disappears NE. ”
To sign up, you will not need to enter your specific address, just your country, state, and city. Your registration is valid for one full year, but is easily modified on the same registration page. If you have an observatory nearby, you could even change your settings to that location and schedule a special, up close encounter with the satellite.