Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium

Satellites Visible From The Indianapolis Area

HST

Satellites are best observed after sunset and before sunrise. At this time the surface of the Earth is in darkness but the Sun is still visible several hundred kilometers above the surface of the Earth. Because of this, satellites can reflect sunlight back to the Earth surface making them easily visible and often brighter than the brightest stars.

Here are the visible passes for the Indianapolis area for the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station for the next 10 days.

Current Position - Hubble Space Telescope
Current Position - Hubble Space Telescope
Current Position - International Space Station
Current Position - International Space Station

In addition to these well known satellites there many more visible each evening. View the list of satellites visible tonight in Indianapolis, weather permitting. Click on the time of maximum altitude to get a plot of the satellites path through the sky.

One other set of interesting satellites are the Iridium satellites. Many of these highly reflective satellites orbit the Earth. If they are oriented just right they can produce what is called an Iridium flare. These flares can occasionally be so bright that they are visible during the daytime if you look in the correct direction in the sky.

Here are the Iridium flares for the next next 7 days.