Can I See the Shuttle from the Ground?
Depending on your location on the Earth's surface, the spacecraft's position in orbit and the time of day, you may be able to see the Shuttle, as it orbits above the planet. A spacecraft will be seen as a white pinpoint of light moving slowly across the sky.
For each shuttle flight, the Flight Dynamics Officers in NASA's Mission
Control Center use sophisticated computer software to predict when and
where the shuttle will be visible by people on the ground. To view the
Shuttle, first find the city closest to you on the Shuttle
Sighting List. (You can look for a particular city name using your
Web browser's search utility.) The left column is the local date, the
next column to the right is the local time. The third column gives the
duration, or the length of time in minutes the spacecraft is expected
to be visible, assuming a clear sky. The fourth column gives the maximum
elevation the vehicle will achieve above the horizon (90 degrees is
directly overhead). The fifth column tells the direction and elevation
at which the spacecraft will become visible initially. The sixth column
gives the direction and elevation at which the spacecraft will disappear
For best results, observers should look in the direction and at the elevation shown in the appearing column at the time listed.
Sightings and Orbital Elements FAQ - Frequently asked questions.
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