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Thread: Are there any satellites that have a brilliant red and blue light?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Are there any satellites that have a brilliant red and blue light?

    I am new to this group and have joined because i have been unable to find any answers. We are living in north central Nicaragua and every clear night we can see several brilliant red, blue and some times greenish lights coming from what we assume are satellites. Some nights we can see five or six of them. They are not evenly spaced in the sky and often there are two or three rather close to each other.There are usually at least three of them in the east, north and south portions of the night sky we can see. These lights seem to be rotating or flashing. Very bright, very brilliant red and blue usually.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    New Haven, Connecticut
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    Many aircraft have strobes (flashing lights) and many have red and green lights on their wingtips. For some odd reason, I never see the aircraft's green lights, only the red light and the strobe, so I'm going to suggest that you're seeing aircraft.

    I suspect that satellites have too constrained a power budget to allow bright lights, but you may be seeing something like the International Space Station, which may have them. Just check the time you see the lights vs the time ISS will be in the sky.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    3,237
    Most likely what you are seeing is the brightest stars, close to the horizon. The flashing you are seeing would be due to the Earth's atmosphere.

    I'm assuming these seem to stay in one place as you look at them, and then as the hours pass they appear to move at the same rate as the other stars. If that isn't true, then my guess is wrong.

    If you get a planisphere, or look at a web site with a map of the night sky, you could determine if they are stars.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    The International Space Station does not have navigation or anti collision lights. Not strobe lights or and at all... If you see it, Its reflected light. Sunlight reflecting of it. So from that assume you are not looking at satellites. Are these red and green lights moving across your sky faster than background stars. If not and are seen low and near the Earth then they could be distant stars with just atmospheric aberration causing the 'twinkle effect'. Or air craft as they do have strobe and anti collision lights... try looking with binoculars.
    .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicaPlanter View Post
    I am new to this group and have joined because i have been unable to find any answers. We are living in north central Nicaragua and every clear night we can see several brilliant red, blue and some times greenish lights coming from what we assume are satellites. Some nights we can see five or six of them. They are not evenly spaced in the sky and often there are two or three rather close to each other.There are usually at least three of them in the east, north and south portions of the night sky we can see. These lights seem to be rotating or flashing. Very bright, very brilliant red and blue usually.
    Here is a star chart for approximately Matagalpa. The center is straight “up” in the sky. The top part of the chart is looking South. The bottom part is looking North. The right is East, and the left is West. You need to look at this chart as if it is the inside of an open umbrella:

    http://www.wunderground.com/sky/Show...merica/Managua

    If it looks like this, it might be a helicopter:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kmzksbo1JQ8

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