Weather Blog

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...space garbage?

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...space garbage?
You would probably be embarrassed if your garbage was left outside for all the world to see, but for NASA and the Space Station, find a clear night and a good telescope, and you can see some of the International Space Station's leftover junk.

Almost exactly one year ago, on July 23, 2007, International Space Station astronauts threw an obsolete, refrigerator-sized ammonia reservoir overboard.

The object has been circling Earth ever since and now its orbit has decayed so much that it has become an easy naked-eye target for backyard sky watchers. 

The Early Ammonia Servicer (EAS for short) is almost as bright as the stars of the Big Dipper and growing brighter as it descends. The EAS is expected to burn up in Earth's atmosphere in late 2008 or early 2009. 

You can see the EAS and other items in Earth's orbit with your own eyes.

Check the Simple Satellite Tracker at SpaceWeather.com for flyby times.