The ISS with solar array in full bloom (pic by NASA just in case you thought I took this)
Sorry if this is yet another thing that makes me a nerd but I like spotting satellites in Fresno’s night sky. Even with our light pollution, its not that hard to do.
If ya think you have never seen one, you probably have and just passed it off as a plane.
The trick to spot them for me is: there are no blinking lights on a satellite.
It is one solid light that looks like a star, but moving smoothly and quietly across the night sky.
- Blinking = Plane.
- Solid = Satellite.
If you like watching a small dot move across a screen, here is a video I took of the International Space Station going over the Eastern Fresno sky:
And this equally dorky one across the NW Fresno sky:
I mean, come on now, THAT is some THRILLING 🛰 video people! [sarcasm]
As nerds in Fresno take video of them that you can hardly see, the Space Station crew occasionally takes shots of the Earth below:
There are websites and apps to help spot things. I sometimes use an app simply called “Satellite Tracker” to find me some info on what I might be seeing – there is a lot of abandoned space junk up there still circling.
You can find a calendar of the ISS’s activities here.
Once you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty easy to spot the random 🛰 satellite – there are many more than there used to be. It usually only takes a minute to find one and I live in the middle of the city.
Also, over the next few weeks the Perseid Metor Shower is going on, peaking August 11-13th. You definitely can catch a few from your patio but those are best viewed outside of the city.