International Space Station visible to the naked eye above UK this evening

Spacecraft, which was also visible last night, will appear to stargazers as a very fast-moving plane

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The Independent Online

Stargazers who missed seeing the International Space Station last night as it orbited over the UK have a second chance to catch a glimpse of the spacecraft tonight.

Visble to the naked eye, the station orbits the earth roughly two hundred miles above the surface, travelling around the planet at 17500 mph – or once every 90 minutes.

It will resemble a fast-moving plane, according to Liverpool John Moores University’s astronomer Jon Marchant.

“It looks pretty much like a bright star. Given Liverpool Airport is nearby, there's plenty of opportunity to get a plane mixed up with the ISS,” he said in remarks to the Liverpool Echo.

"However, the ISS doesn't have any flashing lights and doesn't make a noise, so that's two ways to tell the difference.”

There are usually a crew of six on board, comprising American, Russian and international astronauts.

Mr Marchant continued: "Actually, the pass on the 18th of October is interesting because just after the ISS passes due south, you'll see it dim, go red, and disappear.

"What's happening is it's passing into the Earth's shadow. The astronauts will have just seen a sunset, and all the station structure would have been lit up red, just as buildings are on the ground during a sunset."

The ISS is only visible to the people on earth when light from the sun reaches it, while the ground beneath needs to remain in darkness.

The station is visible over the UK roughly every six weeks.

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