sputnikappDid you know the International Space Station often passes over Klamath Falls? Did you know you can see some of the passes and watch the space station fly overhead at 17,000mph? All without any aid to your normal vision!

The space station looks like a bright, fast moving star as it passes overhead. I use an app called Sputnik! Available for iOS users, Sputnik! offers real time predictions of visible passes of the Space Station as well as Irdium flares which are bright pulses of sunlight reflected by communication satellites. Each pass is assigned a brightness rating and the higher the – number the brighter the pass will be. For example a -3 brightness would be much brighter and easier to see than a -1 and so on.

The app also tells you what direction in the sky to look as the visible pass occurs. Remember.. not all passes are visible. The timing has to be right for the sun to reflect on the space station and for the station to pass close enough to you overhead. This app will tell you about all of the visible passes you can see.


Kids will enjoy this and it’s a lot of fun to watch for adults as well, especially in summer time months when it’s warmer out.


The Sputnik! app is free. 
Download for iOS here
You can also learn about visible passes and sign up for alerts at the Space Station spotter website here.