Chennai Skywatchers Marvel at the Glorious Sight of International Space Station (ISS)

Chennai Skywatchers Marvel at the Glorious Sight of International Space Station (ISS)

Chennai Skywatchers Marvel at the Glorious Sight of International Space Station (ISS)

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According to Spot the Station, an initiative by NASA, the ISS was once again visible over Chennai skies on 11th May at 5:02 am, offering a six-minute window of observation. 

11 May 2024

By Ishika Kumar

Chennai, known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere, was treated to a celestial spectacle on the evening of 10th May. The International Space Station (ISS), often hailed as the ‘third brightest object in the night sky,’ graced the heavens above the city, captivating the attention of skywatchers and enthusiasts alike. 

This occurrence followed NASA’s recent announcement indicating that the ISS would be visible to the naked eye from various locations across India between 8th and 23rd May.

Social media platforms were abuzz with excitement as numerous users from Chennai took to sharing videos and expressing their awe at witnessing the majestic passage of the ISS. With sheer delight, they recounted their experiences, emphasising their gratitude towards NASA for providing advanced notice of this remarkable event.

One enthusiastic observer remarked, “Fortunate to witness the International Space Station with the naked eye, today in Chennai.” Another shared, “Got a spectacular view of the International Space Station passing over Chennai tonight. Thanks, NASA, and Space Station for the heads up!”

The fleeting yet mesmerising appearance of the ISS was captured by diligent skywatchers, with one user detailing the precise timing of its visibility, noting, “The International Space Research Station in Chennai was visible as a white dot from 7:07 pm to 7:09 pm.” Despite the presence of cloudy weather, the brilliance of the ISS remained unmistakable, as attested by another user who stated, “Even with cloudy weather, ISS was bright enough to see.” Describing the awe-inspiring sight, one observer likened the ISS to a “moving star,” encapsulating the sense of wonder experienced by those who beheld its passage through the night sky.

For those who may have missed this celestial rendezvous, an opportunity for another viewing awaits. According to Spot the Station, an initiative by NASA, the ISS will once again be visible over Chennai skies on 11th May at 5:02 am, offering a six-minute window of observation. Subsequent dates for viewing include 12th May at 4:14 am and again after a few hours at 7:08 pm, 13th May at 5 am, and 14th May at 4:14 am.

NASA shed light on the science behind the ISS’s visibility, explaining, “The space station is visible because it reflects the light of the Sun – the same reason we can see the Moon. However, unlike the Moon, the space station isn’t bright enough to see during the day. It can only be seen when it is dawn or dusk at your location. As such, it can range from one sighting opportunity a month to several a week, since it has to be both dark where you are, and the space station has to happen to be going overhead.”

The awe-inspiring phenomenon of the ISS traversing the night sky extends beyond Chennai, with other cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru also poised to witness this celestial spectacle. As humanity continues to explore the realms beyond our planet, such moments, although made by humans like the space station, will always remind us of the boundless wonders of space which naturally occur and that await discovery in the vast expanse of the universe.