Not long back me and a friend stood outside my back door and we saw many at once (within minutes) around 15 fly all different directions but mainly to the left of us random and different distances away it looked like, then 6 met up in the sky in order close together.. four in a line and then two behind it close, then in front of the organised white lights a big ball of nuclear looking orange light that then blasted into white star light appeared, it went dim orange as if it charged and turned bright white again 3 times I saw. When you spot a satellite, you are actually seeing reflected sunlight. You bet! Since 1984, Ken has loitered the skies in many aircraft, including the classic Douglas DC-8. If you stopped the satellite and turned gravity back on, the satellite would fall straight down to Earth. Asked by Wiki User. Login to reply the answers Post; Anonymous. The best time to spot satellites is early evening when the stars and planets start to become visible until about 1-2 hours later. Your three middle fingers held together is roughly 5°. Don’t limit your spotting to these two objects. The only times satellites are visible to the naked eye are around dusk and dawn when it is fairly dark but sunlight reflects off of them. It’s pretty cool…. i should say, ive been gazing into our sky and into the great beyond for quite a while now and its awe inspiring, to say the least. Because of the curvature of the Earth, satellites are still lit by the Sun after the Sun has set in a particular location, especially at this time of year in the northern hemisphere. Satellites do not have their own lights that make them visible. Within a few minutes, you’ll spot a “star” that treks smoothly across the night sky. One is in our bedroom. much appreciated. My kids and I have seen 20 or more in under an hour. Some will be very dim while others are quite bright. But the VIIRS day-night band can better detect and resolve Earth's night lights.  As satellites fly overhead, they often appear and disappear as they move in and out of the sunlight. Don’t recall which shuttle – but it had disconnected from ISS preparing to return. Maybe. This slow motion is misleading: satellites … Most viewable satellites won’t appear quite as bright as the one in my example: Satellites don’t have exterior lights. Besides, Air resistance, also known as "drag", is the resistance created by gases and particles moving around an object as it pushes through air. I followed the object until it disappeared deep in the sky. YouTube user Captain Jack captured the ISS in this 2005 video. What you will see is sunlight being reflected off the satellite, often off the large solar arrays that provide power to the satellites. Objects with a diffusely reflecting surface will also show varying brightness since the observer will see a changing amount of light … Head out to the country. When the Sun is quiet, satellites in low Earth orbit have to boost their orbits about four times per year to make up for atmospheric drag. When the position of the sun and the orbit of these satellites are just right, they can easily be seen. Great comment. The area imaged by the satellite during each orbit is called a swath, and NOAA’s polar-orbiting satellites have relatively wide image swaths. If you’re looking in the right direction, at the right time on a dark, clear night, you’ll see what you are looking for. I have an RGR40 router with 2 satellites. What are the release dates for The Wonder Pets - 2006 Save the Ladybug? Still in fairly good country lighting, saw a lot of “aliens” zoom across the sky. Their eyes are a lot better than mine. When your Orbi satellite's ring LED pulses magenta for the first time, it means that your satellite is attempting to connect to your Orbi router. Brilliant information, thanks a lot ? why would you need lights anyway? On September 3, 2016 I spotted a bright light in the sky with the naked eye (Sacramento, CA). The ISS has a huge array of reflective solar panels that reflect a lot of sunlight, making it easy to see. I'm pretty sure that's it's not venus. As the satellite moves in its' orbit from west to east, it passes from sunlight into the earths shadow and what you see is a reflection from its surface. Once you've seen some satellites, you'll recognize them easily--moving slower than airplanes (which are brighter and usually have flashing lights anyway) and much slower than shooting stars, which are gone within a second or two (shooting stars are meteors, small bits of dust, vaporizing when they hit the atmosphere, by the way). Think about how bright those lighst would have to be in order to been seen on the ground when it's 100+ miles up. The satellite's metallic surfaces act as mirrors for the sun (specular reflection). In addition, satellites have to be light, as the cost of launching a satellite. My family and I have been seeing these lights in the sky for years now. Imagine riding your bike down a large hill. There's no one up there to see them so there's no point in wasting energy on lights… Stare into space on a clear, dark night and you’ll see them. The answer to your question is definitely yes! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. What you are seeing is a satellite lit be sunlight. The ISS has a huge array of reflective solar panels that reflect a lot of sunlight, making it easy to see. What's happening is that the satellite is rotating, and as it does, you see it light up as the sunlight glints off the reflective parts and dim or disappear when the non-reflective parts are pointing towards you. Satellites do, indeed, have their own internal power source (and they may leak such light to the outside) but that is not what you are seeing. The light was brightly shining and moving in the eastern sky around 9:15pm. The ISS can appear as bright as Venus. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. ill never forget that sight and whats even better is the what was accomplished, above all, being the safe return of our 2 astronauts. back on may 30, i watched the ISS track across a perfect night sky, directly overhead, and as usual, just as fascinating as the very first time viewing it. To launch an extra 30,000 Starlink satellites are seeing is a satellite, you could off! Visible anyway from that assume you are actually seeing reflected sunlight launched 60 new satellites orbit! 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