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This week marks beginning of 'International Space Station Marathon'

This week marks beginning of 'International Space Station Marathon'
Photo of International Space Station Credit: NASA & STS-114 Crew, taken May, 2006.

Can't get enough of watching the International Space Station zooming by high in the heavens? If you can convince Mother Nature to clear a few spots in the sky, this is the week for you.

This week marks the start of the so-called "International Space Station Marathon" and over the next several days, the ISS will be visible on every pass all night long every 96 minutes because as local astronomy guru Dr. Dale Ireland puts it: "it's orbit lines up with the Earth's terminator and we see it lit even at midnight by the Sun across the north pole."

He says you can on some nights see four, five, or even six consecutive passes.

"You have to be a space nut to appreciate this but it is pretty cool," he said, adding this marathon always happens around the summer solstice.

Ireland says the ISS will be quite bright -- brighter than any star on most passes, depends on the illumination angle with the sun.

And, of course, it depends on the amount of clouds around. Nighttime is difficult a difficult time to get clear skies during a persistent marine pattern as we appear to be locked in all through the week. But some nights will be clearer than others, and if you have a burning desire to stay up late and just watch the ISS pass

Here is a chart for Seattle. If you don't live in the city, you can plug in your town at