What do orbiting satellites look like from the ground?

29 January 2006

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Question

I look out of my window and see something that appears to be a satellite. It rises in the sky through the night. It appears to flash. Is it a satellite?

Answer

It's more likely to be a planet. When planets travel through a large depth of atmosphere, they appear to twinkle. Sometimes they twinkle very bright colours. You will eventually lose sight of it as it's orbiting around the sun.

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