2020 is upon us! Some of you celebrated the night between years from the comfort of your homes with family, some went to a special place with dear friends, but the thing that made your new year evening special was actually the time zone where you are located. Astronauts that fly high above their homes aboard the ISS (International Space Station) didn’t have the luxury to go anywhere special to party. Being in space during the night between the years is arguably cooler than being on Earth, and if you are curious about when it happened, keep on reading!
New year’s eve… on Twitter!
A recent tweet posted by the official account of the ISS contained a happy 2020 message from the crew aboard, while also providing some insight about how and when the “ball” drops in space.
As you might know, the ISS cruises around our planet at a speed of about five miles per second. At that speed, the astronauts are completing multiple orbits of Earth daily, therefore time zones don’t mean too much to them, which is why the ISS adopted GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), which helps them keep a tight schedule and avoid flying off orbit.
They officially celebrated the start of the current year at approximately 7 pm ET.
Here is what the tweet from the official ISS account reads:
“3, 2, 1… #HappyNewYear! We’re usually counting down to liftoff, but today, we’re counting down to 2020. The space station operates in Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT, meaning it will only be 7 pm ET when the orbiting astronauts’ clock strikes midnight to ring in the new year! ”