Questions tagged [visibility-of-spacecraft]

questions about how visible spacecraft are, as seen from Earth or anywhere else, as seen by eye or by imaging systems.

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Has there ever been a deliberate "Find A Satellite" challenge? Actually, could there be?

Companies often offer rewards for finding security issues in their products or their own IT systems, and hackathons have a long history. I'm just wondering if there has ever been a deliberate ...
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7 votes
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Did CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang see the ISS during an EVA?

This answer to Has an astronaut ever seen another object in LEO pass by that wasn't mission-related? says: The encounter happened at longer distances ($\sim47\;km$) and the Shenzhou-7 is smaller than ...
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How "specularly" and therefore spectacularly will JWST reflect sunlight? Will we be watching for JWST flares?

JWST has a giant sunshield made from mostly parallel layers of metalized polymer film that are sufficiently tensioned so as not to touch each other, though I'm not sure how taut or flat they are: ...
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6 votes
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Measuring and analyzing the tumble of space debris

How well or accurately can we measure the tumble of space debris? I know that we can make ground-based measurements based on light curve data acquired by telescopes. Can tumble be measured from radar ...
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What attitudes will Starlink satellites have in different orbits?

update 3: Guest Post: Modelling of Starlink trail brightness and comparison to observations update 2: Teslarati's SpaceX’s Starlink “VisorSat” launch plans revealed by Elon Musk explains Open Book ...
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Will the International Space Station be able to see the Falcon 9 (Inspiration4 launch)

Will astronauts aboard the International Space Station be able to see any part of the Inspiration4 flight of the Falcon 9 during launch and/or during orbit?
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How to calculate the phase angle between satellite and sun with the use of skyfield

With the discussion that took place on answer(s) to How to calculate cone angle between two satellites given their look angles? I would like to ask if my proposal solving that question works like ...
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KiNET-X Launch, where will the 'vapour cloud' be?

Inspired by How to calculate degrees above/below horizon? (For KiNET-X rocket getting to an altitude of over 200 miles.) and this NASA article/blog post, specifically this paragraph: The vapor will ...
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When and what was the first successful photograph of an orbital spacecraft from Earth taken?

Early artificial satellites were tracked by radio and visually by amateurs, scientists and military personnel for various reasons including fun and improving the understanding of orbital dynamics ...
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Will the James Webb Space Telescope be able to see the Spitzer Space Telescope (assuming...)?

Space.com's NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is no more. Here's what's next for infrared astronomy. says: The best infrared eye in the universe† has closed, and scientists will need to wait at least a ...
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Has anyone reported looking for bandgap photoemission from III-V solar panels on spacecraft? Has any success ever been reported?

I have asked a related question in Physics SE: Do III-V based photovoltaics “glow” (photo-luminesce) when illuminated but not loaded? and the answer (as expected, as it must be) is yes. Question: Have ...
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Calculating Which Satellite Passes are Visible - Need help

I am a beginner Python programmer. I am trying to get the code in the article "Calculating which satellites are visible" to function without success. My plan is to identify satellites that ...
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When are close approaches of Helios 1 and 2 to the Earth? Any historical tracking data? Any reports in sky surveys?

This answer to ** notes that it's hard to get current data on the orbits of Helios-1 and Helios-2 and I couldn't find any in JPL's Horizons. They are shiny and in nice elliptical orbits between ...
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Roughly how high does a rocket have to get before the self-destruct becomes inaudible? Invisible?

Watching the NASA Spaceflight video Astra Test Flight (Launch Vehicle 0006) linked below it seems the launch was terminated, but at least on the video there was no audible Earth-shattering kaboom. ...
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How did SpaceX's VisorSat work? How did the sunshade articulate to shade parts of Starlink satellite as it orbits the Earth?

CNET's Elon Musk wants SpaceX to launch the next generation of space telescopes says: The billionaire entrepreneur said that "VisorSat" satellites equipped with a sunshade to block ...
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1 vote
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Attitude of the upcoming "Orbital Reflector"; will it result in good visibility?

There's a new (passive solar) orbital reflector, called the Orbital Reflector. While Mayak (Маяк) was a crowdfunded project at Moscow State Mechanical Engineering University and the Humanity Star ...
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Why not add tracking features to upper stages? Has something like this ever been proposed?

The identity of the object that will hit the Moon in early March is still uncertain. Some of the story is in Why did we think that the object was gonna hit the Moon March 4th 2022? Who's been ...
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