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barrycarter t1_iyzmk4k wrote

They're small but they're also fairly close to Earth. If you're talking about "iridium flares" (satellites visible briefly at certain locations) it's because all of the sunlight is being reflected onto a relatively small area of the Earth:

I believe most satellites are still not visible to the naked eye most of the time.


triffid_hunter t1_iyzmkpv wrote

High contrast when they reflect the sun against a pitch-black background, plenty of photons for our eyes to pick up.

There's heaps that you don't see though because they're simply reflecting sunlight in a direction other than towards your eyes.

They can still be a problem for long exposures though, since their rounder parts still reflect a little sunlight in most directions.


PoppersOfCorn t1_iyzozh6 wrote

A lot will depend on your light pollution levels. The lower the bortle level, the better opportunities you have. I live in a bortle 3/4 and can see plenty of satellites throughout the night


jadw87 t1_iyztltl wrote

I also have a son named Bort !


maugust09 t1_iyzoon2 wrote

You can see light from stars that are light years away from earth


space-ModTeam t1_iyzqddf wrote

Hello u/CantaloupeForward898, your submission "How can we see satellites?" has been removed from r/space because:

  • Such questions should be asked in the "All space questions" thread stickied at the top of the sub.

Please read the rules in the sidebar and check r/space for duplicate submissions before posting. If you have any questions about this removal please message the r/space moderators. Thank you.