WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

Look up! You may miss something.

Posted May 2, 2008 6:28 p.m. EDT

As a meteorologist I am always looking up at the sky;  it just seems to come naturally.

It is amazing what you can see from time to time if you just take a moment and look up and gaze at the sky. Now if you happen to look up at night and during the early mornings hours you may see some cool man made sights!

As a child in Miami, I recall seeing passing satellites while looking at the sky at night. Have you ever seen one? They are very bright and move quickly across the sky. When I saw my first, I imagined it was a UFO, but of course my older brother quickly squelched that fantasy and told me it was just a satellite. Oh well, my brush with E.T. was never to happen.

Last year during one early evening in Apex, I believe it was around 8pm, I saw an even brighter light in the sky moving quickly from the southwest to the northeast. it was at too high of an altitude to be a plane and too large to be a satellite. I deduced that it was actually the International Space Station or the ISS. Over the years construction on the facility has moved ahead and the size of the structure is quite impressive. So impressive that it is easily seen here on Earth. However, if you fail to look up, you will certainly miss it.

I recently ran across an interesting website that computes when the ISS will be passing over your neighborhood. All that is required is your zip code. This website can tell you when and where to look.

So remember if you never look up, you may miss out!