Apollo 11 photo of Earth with glare from Sun

Stellar Science

Did Astronomers See a Distant, Dying Star? Or an Earth-bound Satellite?

What seemed a lucky break — the discovery of a gamma-ray burst in the most distant known galaxy — might instead be the flash of passing space debris. As satellites fill low-Earth orbit, such events might become common.

Surveyor 2

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Earth's New "Minimoon" May be a 1960s-Era Rocket Booster

An object set to pass near Earth next month may in fact be a relic of the early Space Age.

Before and after

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Satellites, Begone! Remove Trails from Your Astrophotography

While the growing number of satellites above our heads is a concern, there are ways to mitigate their appearances in deep-sky astrophotography.

Space Satellites

Humanity Star: Bright Idea or Dark Sky Nemesis?

The launch of the Humanity Star has some fuming, others smiling, at the prospect of seeing a bright, new satellite. What do you think?

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to See and Photograph Geosynchronous Satellites

Dozens of satellites are busy day and night, beaming your favorite TV and radio programs from more than 35,000 miles away. Here's how to tune into them.

Mayak

Celestial Objects to Observe

New Satellite "Mayak" Might Light Up the Sky

Russia's first crowd-funded satellite, named Mayak (Russian for "beacon of light"), promises to be the “brightest object in the night sky next to the Moon.”

A bright Iridium flare

Celestial Objects to Observe

Predictive Prowess: See an Iridium Flare

Channel your inner superpower by looking up at the night sky precisely when a dazzling blaze of light is beamed to Earth from outer space.

Astronomy Questions & Answers

How can I spot satellite triads?

While binocular observing from Northern California on August 19, 2004, at 6:33 Universal Time, I picked up a trio of satellites moving from the northwest to overhead and passing through Cygnus. I’m sure they were satellites, as all three turned reddish at the same time before disappearing into Earth’s shadow.…

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