I am a geek I hold my hands up and admit it. I love all things space related oh that’s is except the film Oblivion but that is a whole other post. Our visit to NASA, all sci-fi space programs. Encounters of the Third Kind and ET were the sci-fi films I grew up on.
April 2014 is apparently one of the best months this year to spot the ISS (International Space Station). Tonight I checked Meteorwatch website and found out that we have a full over head pass at 9.00pm.
I rallied up the boys, Leo in his Pj’s, Joe and his friend and ushered them into the garden. They thought I was losing the plot herding them all onto the hammock and covering them in blankets to lay and watch the sky.
I knew from the webpage that the space station was due to pass just after 9pm. We worked out which direction was WSW (west south west) and waited. A couple of planes flew over and we discussed what we expected to see.
Leo thought we would see a rocket like the Wallace and Gromit rocket, Joe thought it would look like a plane but with more lights flashing. I told them that I thought it was going to look like any other star but it would move quickly. Joe’s friend was the first to spot it.
We used an iphone to check which direction we needed to look at, and waited we saw a few planes and after a discussion or about whether or not the plane was actually a plane or the ISS we saw it. The boys were amazed at how fast it actually traveled across the sky and the fact that there were actually people inside.
I would encourage you to check the next time it is due to pass and grab the kids and anyone else you can find to spot it together.
What do you need, warm jumpers, coats, somewhere to sit and wait. We watched from our garden and did not need a telescope or any fancy equipment, compass is handy so that you know you are watching in the right direction but that is all. Unless your an uber organised mum and hot chocolate with marshmallows would be good too :).
Enjoy space watching.