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Watching the brilliant white dot that is the International Space Station (ISS) transit the sky in a few minutes is a great experience, especially if you are following what's going on up there.

It can only be seen properly around sunrise and sunset, so that you can catch the sunlight reflecting off its huge solar arrays against a dark enough sky. Wherever you live, you can find your next opportunity to see it by clicking the image above (or even better, get the ISS Detector Pro App).

Watching the ISS transit became much more interesting to people in the UK when Tim Peake became the first British ESA astronaut to go on board the ISS.

Before, during and after his 6-month mission his activities have been followed with great interest by children and adults alike. Watching that brilliant white dot traversing from horizon to horizon, a little over 250 miles up and moving at 17,100 miles per hour, became extra special when we knew one of the people up there.

Tim's trip up to the ISS in the Soyuz was shown live on UK TV, with expert (and highly appreciated) commentary by the retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield. Tim's arrival at the ISS involved manual docking and prolonged safety checks, and taught us that manoeuvering in orbit is much more counter-intuitive than some space epics would suggest!

If you like this...

[A video tour of the International Space Station]
[The International Space Station and the docked Space Shuttle]
[Enjoying the view of Earth from the ISS Cupola]

The wonders of (and revealed by) the Hubble Space Telescope never cease to amaze me...