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International Space Station passes NZ

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/09/2016

Kiwis across New Zealand will be able to see the International Space Station with the naked eye on Thursday night.

The ISS, currently manned by three astronauts, will speed across the sky in the first of a series of passes over the country this month.

According to NASA the ISS looks like a plane only considerably faster, at 28,000km/h compared to a plane at 965km/h.

The space station will be visible for just three minutes for most people, from 7.27pm.

Invercargill will get two opportunities, with a four minute sighting from 7.26pm and another for just a minute at 9.02pm.

"The one (Thursday) night will be visible for about three minutes, and there's an other one (Friday) night for six minutes but it's a little bit earlier and might not be as visible against the night sky," Wellington Space Place science curator Claire Bretherton told NZ Newswire.

She said it was tricky to see the ISS through a telescope because of its speed, but the naked eye or binoculars are best.

To mark the occasion Italian astronaut Ignazio Magnani shared a video showing New Zealand from the space station, which NZ Newswire has been given permission to publish.

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