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Jake35

Flashing satellite?

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2 of the past 3 weekends, once in New Hampshire and the other in Vermont, I have watched what I first thought to be a normal satellite crossing the sky, but this one is different than anything I have seen before. It moves at close to the same speed as an average satellite, maybe slightly faster, but every 5-8 seconds or so, it was giving off an intense burst of yellowish light that looked similar to a camera flash. The brightness was varying, some flashes were about the same as seeing a planet, while other flashes were extremely bright, the light would still be "burned into your vision" for a few seconds after it went away.

I assume it was some kind of satellite but like I said I have never seen anything like it and was just curious if anybody had a more specific answer for me?

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Some satellites rotate in orbit, from time to time they reflect the sunlight on their solar panels directly at you, causing a flashing effect. The most well-known and extreme of these kind were the old Iridiums, but it's not uncommon for many other satellites to produce flashes or vary in brightness.

There's also a lot of space junk, just tumbling around in orbit and producing unpredictable flashes. On Heavens Above, the passes of the brighter satellites can be found. If you enter your location and the date you observed the flashes, you may find the satellite you observed.

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