Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty

Headshot of Emily Lakdawalla

Spot three spacecraft

Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

25-03-2008 11:44 CDT


Now that space shuttle Endeavour has undocked from the International Space Station, there are three spacecraft flying in formation over our heads, a rare configuration, and because of the large size of ISS and its reflective solar panels it's usually pretty easy to spot. The third spacecraft is ESA's Jules Verne cargo ship, which is standing off of ISS, about 2,000 kilometers (1,600 miles ahead of it) in the sky. If you decide to go out and look tonight, Jules Verne will fly across the sky first, followed about four minutes later by the ISS and Shuttle.

Where and when to look? It depends on where you are, so you'll need to visit a website that can provide predictions for your location. has an exceedingly easy-to-use tool that allows Americans and Canadians to plug in their zip codes and receive text information about satellite flybys over the next few days; it tells you which satellites are flying by, when, and which direction to look for them. But if you're not in the U.S. or Canada, or if you'd like sky charts that show you more precisely where and when to look, go over to, set up a user account with your observing latitude and longitude, and you're all set. Heavens-above can even output information to an AvantGo channel for handheld devices.

I was wandering around looking for recent photos of the Space Station taken from Earth and I came across this stumper of a space photo, which looks an awful lot like an edge-on view of Saturn at first glance; but it's actually much closer to home, a long exposure of the Space Station transiting the crescent Moon last month. Cool.

ISS transits the Moon

Andy Strappazzon

ISS transits the Moon
On February 11, 2008, the International Space Station crossed the crescent Moon as seen from an observing site in Europe.

See other posts from March 2008


Or read more blog entries about:


Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Blog Search


Advocate for Space!

Fifteen years ago, Society members and passionate space advocates like you helped save the Pluto mission. Now we can do the same for missions to Europa and Mars.

Join over 27,600 people who have completed their petition and consider a donation to support advocacy efforts.

Sign Our Petition

Featured Images

LightSail-B on the bench
Blue Origin New Shepard after first landing
New Shepard test flight and booster landing
Suni Williams and Doug Hurley in Crew Dragon
More Images

Featured Video

MISSIONS: Dawn In The Asteroid Belt With Marc Rayman

Watch Now

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Selfies to Space!

Take flight with a selfie on LightSail™ in 2016!

Send a Selfie Now

Connect With Us

Facebook! Twitter! Google+ and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!