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If you have time to spend looking at the sky, this is really cool . . .

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Did you know that you can see satellites at night, reflecting light from the sun? You can.

There is a web site that tells you when satellites will be visible in your sky, your location.

There are some that shine really bright. Go to Heavens-Above Home Page, put in your location, and look up Iridium Flares, next 7 days. Look for when there will be satellites with a brightness of at least -6 (-8 is brighter), and then look up at the sky where it says and when it says. You might miss it, but if you see it, it's pretty impressive.
post #2 of 10
we watch them a lot in the late summer evenings. They really cruise fast.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Aside from the Iridium flares, which are the brightest, the International Space Station is pretty bright too sometimes. I think it's cool that you can know when and where to look.

When I worked at Hewlett Packard, swing shift, once after dark I asked hey who wants to go out in the parking lot and see this bright satellite . . . the skeptics were amazed when it did show up on schedule. That was fun. Those Iridium satellites have highly polished, precisely flat antenna surfaces that act as mirrors, which makes them especially bright. They appear and disappear in a time span of about 10-20 seconds.
post #4 of 10
I clearly remember looking up in the night sky to try and find Project Echo in 1960. Echo satellite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Too bad there's a great deal of light pollution where we live. We can't really see much clearly, not even the meteor showers in summer.
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post #5 of 10
My backyard is very dark and makes a great spot for viewing satellites and aurora (deck faces north). I am also an amateur radio operator and can listen in on some of the satellites and the ISS.
post #6 of 10
This is really very cool and you will appreciate the beauty of our environment. But sad to say, humans are the one who kill it softly...:cry: Looking at the sky will somehow ease the burden of our day to day struggles. That's is why its my dream to some day fly...
post #7 of 10
I was only able to when we had that huge blackout along the Eastern seaboard. Also saw a few shooting stars for the first time. Big city tends to produce a lot of light pollution so I can't see anything even on the clearest nights.
post #8 of 10
My wife had always wondered why some "shooting stars" seemed to travel clear across the sky. It was only recently I explained to her that if a shooting star lasts more than a second or 2, chances are it is a satellite. At first she didn't believe that you could see satellites, but I finally convinced her of what she was seeing.
post #9 of 10
For those in the midwest the ISS is going to be visible tonight on the western horizon between 9 and 10 pm.
post #10 of 10
For those interested I have satellite tracking software and the ISS should be in range of the west coast in 5-10 minutes, it looks like it will cross the coast between LA and San Fransisco. It should be in view in MN around 9:23 pm.
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