Can You See The ISS With A Telescope Answered (2022)

Can You See The ISS With A Telescope? Answered (2022)

If you’re deeply into studying the universe and everything in it, then you probably have dreamt of walking on the International Space Station. 

However, those who find that dream quite hard to achieve may just settle with having a glimpse of this Scientific beauty.

If you’re wondering if you can see the ISS with a telescope, read on and find out what our team discovered from hours of intensive research.

Can You See The International Space Station (ISS) With A Telescope? 

Yes, you can. However, a telescope is actually not necessary to spot the International Space Station as the naked eye can also see it if you know where and when to look. 

Space enthusiasts with good telescopes and proper equipment can definitely see its movement clearly in outer space. 

Additionally, when using a telescope to see the ISS transit during the day, it is advised to have the proper safety equipment. 

Otherwise, it can be extremely dangerous and lead to permanent eye damage without the proper solar filter.

What Does ISS Look Like Through A Telescope? 

If you’re observing the ISS from the Earth using a telescope, it could appear as a bright light moving across the sky [1]. 

It may even look like a plane, but it’s somewhat brighter and has no flashing lights. 

How Well Can You See The ISS With A Telescope? 

The ISS can be seen with the naked eye, much more when you’re using a telescope. At dusk, you’ll be able to see the ISS start dim and tend to grow brighter as it moves across the sky. 

Meanwhile, at dawn, it will appear bright at first and tend to fade due to the angle of the sun that hits the Space Station.

What Magnification Is Needed To See It? 

huge telescope to see ISS

A magnification of 65x is enough to spot its movements and have a clear view of it. At 250x, you can see clearer details of the ISS, including its solar panels.

Don’t forget to consider factors such as the viewing conditions like light pollution, temperature, wind, and atmospheric turbulence, among others.

Is It Safe To See The ISS With A Telescope? 

Yes, using a telescope to see the ISS is the safest and best way. 

With the right magnification, timing, proper equipment, and constant practice, viewing the International Space Station would be a total blast.

Can You Still See The ISS With Naked Eyes? 

Yes, you can. Space Station spotting and viewing can be done in different ways, including viewing it with your bare eyes or using binoculars and telescopes.

However, it might appear like a shooting star when viewed with the naked eye. If you want to have a clearer view of it, then make sure to opt for the use of a telescope. 

Also, if you’re viewing during the day, remember that looking at the sun is dangerous and may cause serious eye damage. Make sure to wear eye protection.

Can You See An ISS Astronaut With A Telescope? 

Yes, it is possible to see an ISS astronaut with a telescope. 

Astronauts sometimes go for a spacewalk; if you’re lucky enough, you could get a glimpse of them with the right telescope magnification, location, and timing.

In fact, in 2009, some astronauts were seen spacewalking using a backyard telescope [2].


Does the ISS look like a shooting star?

Yes, the ISS may look like a shooting star to the naked eye as it moves quickly from horizon to horizon. The ISS moves in a flash like a jet plane. 

Hence, due to the angle of the sun hitting the Space Station, it could sometimes make it look bright and fade gradually. 

Is it easy to spot the ISS with a telescope?

Spotting it with a telescope can be tough for a beginner. You must locate and determine its position and capture it with your lenses. 

This stresses the point that proper timing, location, and environment setting are absolutely crucial.

Can I watch the ISS with a 90× power telescope?

Watching the ISS with a 90× power telescope is possible. While you can view the ISS with your bare eyes, using a telescope would certainly make your viewing experience way better. 

Take note that the higher the magnification, the clearer the details will be. 

Key Takeaways 

Spotting the International Space Station is just one of the many things you can do with your telescope, even in the comfort of your home. 

A little bit of patience is also needed, especially if you are a beginner in the field. Also, remember to use the proper equipment and protect your eyes when viewing the sky. 

If you want to get a glimpse of the ISS, all it takes is perfect timing, a good location, and a proper environment setting. 

Who knows? You might even catch an ISS astronaut who’s out on a spacewalk.



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