Holcomb Observatory and Planetarium
Satellites Visible From The Indianapolis Area
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.
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.
The International Space Station is celebrating its 17th anniversary. For more information on the ISS celebration visit the International Space Station Technology Guide.