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Don’t miss the 6-minute window to see the International Space Station over Alabama tonight

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(Photo by NASA/Crew of STS-132)

Here’s something neat for the astronomy-minded: NASA has a tool that allows you to discover when the International Space Station can be spotted over your specific location.

Using Spot The Station, all you have to do is choose your country, state and city to see when the ISS is scheduled to pass overhead and for how long it will be visible.

While the ISS is usually only visible for a minute or two, residents of Alabama will have 6 minutes to spot the Station this evening, starting at 6:36 p.m. Tonight might be a good time to take a few minutes out of your busy day and look up.

The ISS, which was launched in 1998, orbits the Earth roughly once every 90 minutes. Alabamians might be particularly interested to know that residents of the Yellowhammer State have made significant contributions to the ISS. Scientists at the University of Alabama-Birmingham have recently designed cryogenic freezers used on the space station, and parts of the ISS were also designed and assembled at the Marshall Space Flight Center near Huntsville, Alabama.