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Space Station Kids

International Space Station
What's Outer Space like?
Life in Space

What's Outer Space like?

Weightlessness Vacuum Vision Thermal Environment Radiation
  01 Stars not easily seen from the Earth can clearly be observed
02 The world of the Hubble Space Telescope
03 Astronomical Observations from the ISS

01 Stars not easily seen from the Earth can clearly be observed

The Earth and the constellations

When you look up at the night's sky, and if you are lucky enough, it should be filled with shining stars.

From ancient times, astronomers have continuously strived to develop telescopes with better capabilities and to find observation sites that are more ideal for studying the stars.

When is the best time to see a lot of stars in the sky? You'll see more stars the further you're away from the large cities. You may feel the stars look shinier during the winter than in the summer.

Stars in the sky observed from the Earth and the ISS

The reason the stars look differently depends on the location and the season of the year, which has something to do with the air.

The layers of air usually protect us, but when we are trying to see the light from the stars traveling from space, the air hinders the quality of our view.

Before it reaches us on Earth, starlight encounters dusts and tiny water droplets in the air. Consequently, the light's path can be altered or bounced back. At night, if the surrounding area is bright, as is the case with large urban areas, you cannot observe the weaker starlight. The reason why stars twinkle is also due to the fact that we're looking at the stars through layers of air.

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