Home Up Iridium Flares MicroSatellites


Iridium Flares


Satellites in the night sky make for interesting viewing.  The International Space Station can be viewed easily with the naked eye, as can the Space Shuttle.  The website that can tell you what is visible can also tell you what other rapidly moving phenomena will be up this evening.  Check out the Heavens Above "GSOC" Iridium Flare site for more details.

With planning, it's even possible to see satellites in the DAY.  I've seen Iridium Flashes numerous times around 9 or 10 in the morning.  You just need to know exactly where and when to look.  The website link will do all of the calculations for you.  It is critical to know your latitude and longitude of your observing location precisely to get the best calculation of brightness.  After all, the reason we can see satellites is because we're getting a glint of sunlight off of some part of the satellite, and the alignment has to be just right to get the maximum effect.


Introduction to the Night Sky - Part III

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