Can we see satellites from Earth by the naked eye ?

Can we see satellites from Earth by the naked eye ?


1 answer

Sumit Paliwal December 2, 2016

If you go out and carefully study the sky near dusk or dawn, and you have relatively dark skies, you should not have to wait more than 15 minutes before you see one of the more than 35,000 satellites now in orbit around Earth. Most of these "satellites" are as large as 30 feet, and as small as a football.  

The Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) headquartered at Vandenberg AFB in California, keeps a constant watch on all orbiting Satellites. It completetly deppends upon the weather conditions that you will be able to see the satellites or not. Satellites basically do not emit light they are visible due to light reflected off the sun. The important thing to note is that unlike a plane, most satellites do not ‘blink’ or flash. They remain steady brightness and follow consistent speed and direction across the sky. Occasionally they can disappear if they move into Earth’s shadow. So next time you find yourself away from a city in a dark rural area, study the sky for these slow moving objects and see how many you can spot.

One particular satellite constellation is very visible from Earth: The Iridium satellite constellation. The Iridium satellites have rectangular antennae that are also very good at reflecting light back to Earth, resulting in Iridium Flares.artificial satellites are visible few hours after Sun set and few hours before dawn.


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