Can you see satellites?
Can you see satellites with the naked eye from Northeast OH?
Sure. Satellites reflect the light of the sun, allowing them to be seen from the ground. The best way to find them is by going outside on a dark night and stand (or sit!) facing south (or north, if you live in the southern hemisphere). (This is because most satellites orbit the equator of the Earth) A satellite will appear as a "star" moving slowly across the sky, usually from east to west or west to east.
Unlike meteors, satellites are slow-moving and yellow (not red-orange) due to the sun's reflected light.
The International Space Station can be particularly impressive to see. To know when and where to look for it, you can use some of the on-line ressources like Heavens above.
There are a few satellites that orbit in a north-south direction. Those are the spy satellites. If you see one, be sure to wave!
Get More 'Curious?' with Our New PODCAST:
- Podcast? Subscribe? Tell me about the Ask an Astronomer Podcast
- Subscribe to our Podcast | Listen to our current Episode
- Cool! But I can't now. Send me a quick reminder now for later.
How to ask a question:
If you have a follow-up question concerning the above subject, submit it here. If you have a question about another area of astronomy, find the topic you're interested in from the archive on our site menu, or go here for help.Table 'curious.Referrers' doesn't existTable 'curious.Referrers' doesn't exist
This page has been accessed 54026 times since April 28, 2002.
Last modified: November 10, 2005 5:22:42 PM
Ask an Astronomer is hosted by the Astronomy Department at Cornell University and is produced with PHP and MySQL.
Warning: Your browser is misbehaving! This page might look ugly. (Details)