Just before Tim Peake, Tim Kopra and Yuri Malenchenko arrive at the International Space Station tonight at 17:24 GMT over the UK the spacecraft should be visible to the naked eye. Before tuning into the live docking on ESA television head outside and wave to Tim Peake or take a picture!
You can see our Space Station from Earth just by looking up at the right time. The ground track of the station for this pass is shown in the map. Observers directly on this line will see the Station pass right overhead, look more to the South if you are above the line and more to the North if you are below. The station will come from the Southwest and fly towards the Northeast. Hope for clear skies…
Using the bright reflection of the ISS as a beacon, you might spot the Soyuz with Tim, Tim and Yuri as well. At the time the distance between the station and Soyuz will be very small as they will be ten minutes from docking or a few hundred metres from the Station.
In order to get accurate data for the pass of the International Space Station for your specific location, you can check Heavens-Above or the ESA tracker – but the information in this blog post should be enough to find both the ISS and Soyuz.
For information on how to photograph the spacecraft as they pass overhead, read this excellent blog post on how to photograph ATV (different spacecraft but the same techniques apply).
Please share any pictures you get with us, through links in comments to this blog post.
See where the International Space Station is right now with ESA’s tracker: