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How to spot the International Space Station from India (Mumbai)

On a clear night, the night sky is lit up with several things and it is fascinating to watch. While it is difficult to spot many things in the city, thanks to the pollution and the light pollution that doesn’t give us a clear view of the sky, there is one thing that you would be able to spot easily if you know where to look – the International Space Station. 

The ISS which orbits roughly 420 kilometers above the Earth at the speed of about 17,000 miles per hour is easy to spot as it is like a bright, unblinking star that is travelling smoothly across the night sky. 

The only thing you’ll need to do is to know when it will pass over your area.

You can do this in 2 ways, 

  1. Check the timings on NASA’s Website
  2. Download an app that helps you check the timing

I use the ISS Detector app for my Android phone.

It is a free app but you may have to watch an ad before you use the app.

The app is pretty simple to use once you put in your location, it works as a compass so you know where to look. 

Once you open the compass, you’ll see two circles and a dot telling you where the ISS would be. It would also show you the trajectory ISS would be following.

If the ISS dot is closer to the center of the circle, it means it would be higher up in the sky,

If the ISS dot is closer to the outer end of the circle, it means it would be closer to the horizon. This is not ideal in the city, if you are surrounded by buildings and other restrictions. This situation would ideally work if you are at the outskirts and have a clear view of the horizon. 

You can set up a reminder on the app to know when the ISS would next fly pass over you. The app would also tell you about the viewing window available, this is generally around 5mins. 

To spot the ISS, it is like a bright, unblinking star which is flying past, sharing a video so you are able to know what to look for. 


  1. Wow! This is amazing. Thank you for sharing. Just installed it. It says next view will be in 14 days!


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