NASA astronaut asks: Can you spot the Big Dipper from the ISS?

Get ready to test your vision with a challenge from the International Space Station.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

The Big Dipper is hiding in here somewhere.

NASA/Christina Koch

The astronauts on board the International Space Station have some great views of space, naturally, but with so many stars on display, it can be a little tough to make out the constellations. Maybe you can give NASA's Christina Koch an assist.

Koch tweeted a photo on Monday, taken from the ISS, that shows a field of stars. She issued a challenge: "Can you spot the Big Dipper from the space station?"

It took me a couple of false starts before I located the famous star formation, which makes up part of Ursa Major, the great bear. 

If you need a hand, Twitter user Super Grover tweeted out the answer while also mapping out some additional constellations for extra credit.

Space fans on Twitter are wondering about the string of orange lights in the photo. They speculated it could be anything from the Battlestar Galactica to Santa and his reindeer. The lights might be a reflection or another orbiting object catching the sun. 

Koch is currently on an extended stay on the ISS. She's scheduled to orbit for a total of 328 days, which will set the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman. That gives her until February 2020 to exercise her keen stargazing skills. 

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