One of the brightest objects in the night sky can now be easily tracked by Iowans who have access to the World Wide Web. NASA has launched a website that enables people to quickly determine where and when to look to view the International Space Station in its orbit high above.Patrick Meyer is a data systems engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He says all you need to do is put your zip code into the blank and punch the on-screen button to get a sky chart showing where the bright “star” will appear.Meyer says the space station is visible to Iowans for about ten minutes in the northwest region of the sky a couple of times a night. He says don’t bother trying to use a telescope as that’d be like trying to watch a speeding bullet using a soda straw. The website sky chart shows stars and other sky-landmarks, including the moon and planets. Meyer explains why the website was created.The space station is traveling at 15-thousand miles an hour and is in an orbit 220 miles up. It’s now about the size of an 11-story building but will eventually be as large as a football field. To get the sky chart, go to this website, noticing there’s no www prefix, just: “liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov”.
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