Skip to main content

Sighting Location

Select Location

Location: Washington, DC, United States

The following ISS sightings are possible from Friday Jan 15, 2021 through Saturday Jan 30, 2021

Date Visible Max Height Appears Disappears Share Event
Sat Jan 16, 6:50 PM 2 min 21° 10° above SSW 21° above S  
Sun Jan 17, 6:03 PM 3 min 16° 10° above S 13° above ESE  
Sun Jan 17, 7:39 PM < 1 min 18° 15° above WSW 18° above WSW  
Mon Jan 18, 6:52 PM 2 min 88° 19° above SW 85° above NNE  
Tue Jan 19, 6:04 PM 5 min 49° 13° above SSW 18° above ENE  
Tue Jan 19, 7:41 PM < 1 min 16° 12° above WNW 16° above WNW  
Wed Jan 20, 6:54 PM 2 min 31° 22° above WNW 29° above N  
Thu Jan 21, 6:07 PM 4 min 51° 37° above W 14° above NE  
Thu Jan 21, 7:44 PM < 1 min 10° 10° above NW 10° above NW  
Fri Jan 22, 6:56 PM 3 min 16° 11° above WNW 16° above N  
Sat Jan 23, 6:09 PM 4 min 22° 16° above WNW 11° above NNE  
Sun Jan 24, 7:00 PM 1 min 11° 10° above NNW 11° above N  
Mon Jan 25, 6:11 PM 3 min 13° 11° above NW 10° above NNE  
Thu Jan 28, 7:05 PM < 1 min 10° 10° above N 10° above N  
2021-01-16 23:50:00.0,Sat Jan 16, 6:50 PM,2 min,21°,10° above SSW,21° above S|2021-01-17 23:03:00.0,Sun Jan 17, 6:03 PM,3 min,16°,10° above S,13° above ESE|2021-01-18 00:39:00.0,Sun Jan 17, 7:39 PM,< 1 min,18°,15° above WSW,18° above WSW|2021-01-18 23:52:00.0,Mon Jan 18, 6:52 PM,2 min,88°,19° above SW,85° above NNE|2021-01-19 23:04:00.0,Tue Jan 19, 6:04 PM,5 min,49°,13° above SSW,18° above ENE|2021-01-20 00:41:00.0,Tue Jan 19, 7:41 PM,< 1 min,16°,12° above WNW,16° above WNW|2021-01-20 23:54:00.0,Wed Jan 20, 6:54 PM,2 min,31°,22° above WNW,29° above N|2021-01-21 23:07:00.0,Thu Jan 21, 6:07 PM,4 min,51°,37° above W,14° above NE|2021-01-22 00:44:00.0,Thu Jan 21, 7:44 PM,< 1 min,10°,10° above NW,10° above NW|2021-01-22 23:56:00.0,Fri Jan 22, 6:56 PM,3 min,16°,11° above WNW,16° above N|2021-01-23 23:09:00.0,Sat Jan 23, 6:09 PM,4 min,22°,16° above WNW,11° above NNE|2021-01-25 00:00:00.0,Sun Jan 24, 7:00 PM,1 min,11°,10° above NNW,11° above N|2021-01-25 23:11:00.0,Mon Jan 25, 6:11 PM,3 min,13°,11° above NW,10° above NNE|2021-01-29 00:05:00.0,Thu Jan 28, 7:05 PM,< 1 min,10°,10° above N,10° above N|

The space station looks like an airplane or a very bright star moving across the sky, except it doesn't have flashing lights or change direction. It will also be moving considerably faster than a typical airplane (airplanes generally fly at about 600 miles per hour; the space station flies at 17,500 miles per hour).

Below is a time-lapse photo of the space station moving across the sky.

The International Space Station is seen in this 30 second exposure as it flies over Elkton, VA early in the morning, Saturday, August 1, 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls The International Space Station is seen in this 30 second exposure as it flies over Elkton, VA early in the morning, Saturday, August 1, 2015. Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Visit the NASA Johnson Flickr Photostream

How do I Spot The Station?

What does all this sighting information mean?

Time is when the sighting opportunity will begin in your local time zone. All sightings will occur within a few hours before or after sunrise or sunset. This is the optimum viewing period as the sun reflects off the space station and contrasts against the darker sky.

Visible is the maximum time period the space station is visible before crossing back below the horizon.

Max Height is measured in degrees (also known as elevation). It represents the height of the space station from the horizon in the night sky. The horizon is at zero degrees, and directly overhead is ninety degrees. If you hold your fist at arm's length and place your fist resting on the horizon, the top will be about 10 degrees.

Appears is the location in the sky where the station will be visible first. This value, like maximum height, also is measured in degrees from the horizon. The letters represent compass directions -- N is north, WNW is west by northwest, and so on.

Disappears represents where in the night sky the International Space Station will leave your field of view.

Astronomical Horizon chart. Click the link for a detailed description of the astronomical horizon and sighting alert messages.