41

Yes, I've done it myself in my backyard in suburban Houston. During a spacewalk in ISS increment 50, an MMOD shield intended for the axial port of Node 3 was lost. It's visible in this video floating below station. It ended up reentering about six months later. A few weeks after it had been lost, I noticed that it would be visible from my house, with a ...


12

The category of "observation satellites" is broad, because there are many types of observation (different wavelengths that reveal different characteristics of the observed planet). Because you're referring to 'high-resolution images' I'm going to assume you want visible-light photography. Yes, this is available for many bodies, although most planets have ...


10

I'll calculate the visibility of a diffuse 50% gray sphere with a 6 meter diameter. Averaging over all Sun-object-observer configurations that might be similar to a 4 x 11 meter shiny cylinder since both will scatter light over more than a hemisphere. Equations are from this answer and from sources linked therein: $$M_{Abs} = 5 \left(\log_{10}(1329) -\frac{...


7

It turns out it might be very common for astronauts on the ISS (or previously the MIR) to spot satellites. This is the distribution of the number of satellites in LEO for different altitudes As you can see the ISS, with its $\sim 400 \; km$ altitude, is quite safe and alone below the huge carcass of LEO satellites moving around $800 \; km$ (it is also true ...


6

I was able to measure STARLINK 1130 (darksat, left) on March 19th, 2020, at Sternwarte Mirasteilas. Comparison object is STARLINK 1084 (same operational height, similar altitude above the horizon, same camera gain and exposure, right). TLE: STARLINK-1130 (DARKSAT) 1 44932U 20001U 20078.91667824 .00171859 00000-0 12055-1 0 9990 2 44932 53.0013 60....


4

In general, it is impossible to know for sure, but we can do some detective work. My two go to web sites: https://www.space-track.org -- Catalog of all space objects kept by USAF/JSPOC https://planet4589.org -- Jonathan McDowell's amazing catalog of all things space AS you point out 2010-028* is the international designator for all the objects related to ...


3

I’ve seen space debris with the naked eye, and my eyesight is far from exceptional. During a supply rocket launch to the ISS, the fairings that break off the main rocket are easily visible if the conditions are right.


2

Starman will be pretty close to Mars in 2035, so if there is any good Martian telescopes then, they will be able to spot it. We could do so in October of this year, but there aren't any telescopes good enough. From Earth, January 2047 is the most likely time to spot with a 1 meter or smaller telescope. A 1 meter telescope was what last saw Starman. Because ...


2

About 6 hours after launch, the Soyuz spacecraft can be observed near the ISS. About three minutes later, Soyuz will fly after the ISS and will be visible in the same orbit. Therefore use https://www.n2yo.com/ P.S. The duration of the trip to the ISS varies. Until 2012, astronauts always spent about two days in the Soyuz spacecraft before docking to the ISS....


2

As seen in the photos below from https://terra.nasa.gov/about Terra is reddish, so the answer to Why is Terra reddish? is exactly what you have suspected; because it is wrapped in a thermal protection film that is reddish in color. However, the answer to a more interesting question: Why am I surprised that Terra appears reddish? would have several ...


2

Satellites, for the most part, do not emit visible light. Instead, they reflect light. Thus, other than portions of that light that are absorbed/scattered by the various reflective surfaces of the satellite, the spectra measured will be that of the light source shining upon them. When satellites are bright enough to be seen at night on the earth's surface, ...


2

There were several observations made, in radar and in visible, but none from when the spacecraft were on or near the surface of the Moon itself. Communication could be heard by third party observers, but they were far too small to actually be seen. However, it is much easier to see an object when it doesn't have a cluttered background, even if small. A ...


1

In theory, a smaller telescope can see a dim object by just looking longer than a larger one. There are issues of noise and stability that limit this, but for small factors it works. So their plan seems to be to break up a large-telescope observing plan into plans for longer observations with multiple smaller telescopes. This (somehow) saves lots of cost. ...


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