WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

I have been told that at night you can sometimes spot a satellite moving across the sky. Well today at about 10pm my brother saw a "star" moving. We were looking straight EAST and the object was going from left to right, south to north, then a minute later another one except this one was north to south. Me and my whole family stared at the sky for about 20 minutes and we saw atleast 10 of the stars moving, all were either moving south to north or north to south. Is it really possible to see so many satellites in such a short periode of time?

Posted June 23, 2007

MIKE MOSS SAYS:    Pablo,     It seems quite plausible to me that you would have seen that many by looking carefully for 20 minutes on a nice clear evening. There are LOTS of satellites up there in polar orbits, which are the ones in which you would see the satellites moving mainly from north to south or vice versa.

To get a feel for the number of satellites in orbit and how they are configured, try this web site:

http://science.nasa.gov/Realtime/jtrack/3d/JTrack3D.html

When the 3-d tracking window opens, maximize it, then go into the Options menu and change "update rate" to 1/2 second and "timing" to 100x and you will get a good feel for what a swarm of satellites actually surrounds us!

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