Yes, Satellites Are Visible From The Space Station

Comprising photos taken from the ISS on December 30, 2019 during a nighttime pass over Africa, this quick timelapse shows lightning, airglow, many stars, and even a few satellites in motion—at least six, by my count!

(You may need to full-screen the video and then make sure the quality is set to high to make out the satellites.)

This is proof that even while in orbit, other orbiting objects like satellites are difficult to see but certainly not impossible. In fact they are mostly visible when they are reflecting sunlight just like from the ground. That means during the day the brightness of the Earth will keep them pretty well hidden but from the night side of the planet they can shine like stars.

These photos were taken during Expedition 61.

Original images are from JSC’s Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

Video credit NASA / JSC / Jason Major

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