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Mission Control
Answers Your Questions

From: Richard Evans, of Savannah, Ga.
To: John Curry, flight director

Question: Is it possible to see the space shuttle or the space station pass over my city during the daytime hours?

Answer: The shuttle and station are not bright enough to be seen with the naked eye during the daytime. However, they can be visible at dawn and dusk given the right conditions. Brighter objects, like the planets Jupiter and Venus and the star Sirius, can be seen in broad daylight using a telescope or binoculars, assuming the Sun is not close by (warning: never point a telescope or binoculars anywhere close to the Sun unless the proper equipment has been installed to safely do so -- instant, permanent eye damage can result otherwise). Once the station is completed, and is therefore brighter, it may be possible to detect with optical aids with the Sun above the horizon.

A number of amateur astronomers have used their telescopes to record still and video imagery of the shuttle and station during night passes.

View a list of answered questions or ask MCC your own question.

Curator: Kim Dismukes | Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty | Updated: 11/29/2002
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