How are communication satellites named

Satellite lightning in the sky

Each satellite has an aluminum reflector that is two square meters in size and very flat. This surface acts like a large mirror that directs the sunlight in a very narrow cone onto the surface of the earth.


Traces of an Iridium flash (long exposure) (Zinkova) If everything fits together perfectly, observers on the ground will see an extremely bright flash of light in the sky when an Iridium satellite passes over it. The experts speak of an iridium flare.

The satellite first emerges from the dark and becomes a little brighter for about 30 seconds. Then it suddenly flares up brilliantly and shines extremely brightly for five to ten seconds, sometimes significantly brighter than Venus! The strongest iridium flares can even be seen in the daytime sky if you know where to look.

Where and when exactly an Iridium satellite can be seen in the sky depends on the observation location. A spectacularly bright flash of Iridium can no longer be particularly noticeable a few kilometers away. Therefore you have to read the exact times for the desired location on the Internet. Well prepared you can show off with the Iridium flashes at every garden party.

Website for calculating iridium flashes

Where is which Iridium satellite right now?