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Old 12-22-2018, 05:46 PM
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Default Satellites

was just outside looking at the stars and was following a satellite. When it was almost overhead, itís light turned off...Iíve never seen that happen before. It got me thinking...why would a satellite have a light that is visible from the ground anyway? Seems they would want to preserve energy. Or maybe they arenít lights, and Iím seeing the reflection of the sun. Anybody know? Thanks
Old 12-22-2018, 05:49 PM
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Reflection from the sun. Angle change as it was moving also moved the reflection away from you.
Old 12-22-2018, 06:02 PM
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The flash of light you saw in the sky was not a UFO. Swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and refracted the light from Venus
Old 12-22-2018, 06:08 PM
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Like above
Light reflecting from the sun

there are no lights on satellites that you can see from your backyard
Old 12-22-2018, 06:16 PM
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I'm pretty sure it was Uranus.
Old 12-22-2018, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ChrisW21 View Post
Reflection from the sun. Angle change as it was moving also moved the reflection away from you.
Yep!
Old 12-22-2018, 06:39 PM
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That would be one very bright light to be able to see it from the ground.
Old 12-22-2018, 06:59 PM
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No lights (why would they be needed?), just reflected, refracted sun/moon light.

The first time I ever saw (or realized I could see) a satellite was back in the 80's camping at a state park. I saw a couple lying flat on there back in the middle of a pitch black parking lot.

Me: What are you doing?
Them: Watching sattelites
Me: Bullshit
Them: Nope, have a look.

I used to live on acreage in FL. Pitch black dark with little light pollution. It was easy to lay out there and see one every few minutes.
​​​​
Old 12-22-2018, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by RickC137 View Post
No lights (why would they be needed?), just reflected, refracted sun/moon light.

The first time I ever saw (or realized I could see) a satellite was back in the 80's camping at a state park. I saw a couple lying flat on there back in the middle of a pitch black parking lot.

Me: What are you doing?
Them: Watching sattelites
Me: Bullshit
Them: Nope, have a look.

I used to live on acreage in FL. Pitch black dark with little light pollution. It was easy to lay out there and see one every few minutes.
​​​​
First one I saw was Spitniik.
Old 12-22-2018, 07:22 PM
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Besides the wonderfully bright moon, I have heard that Venus has been very bright the past mornings.

Yeah when a satellite hits the shadows it will go dark. If it was its own illumination I will add that to the "flashlight snobs" thread.
Old 12-22-2018, 07:27 PM
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There are free and pay apps that are fun to use when out with a beautiful night. You can look up stars, constellations, and satellites that are passing by.
Old 12-22-2018, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ericinmich View Post
There are free and pay apps that are fun to use when out with a beautiful night. You can look up stars, constellations, and satellites that are passing by.
And wave to the crew of the ISS as they pass overhead.
Old 12-22-2018, 07:47 PM
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Several satellite apps that will tell you when and what angle, brightness and deration of flight at your location.

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