FunWhy are the satellites shining?

Why are the satellites shining?

Every day the number of artificial satellites launched into space is increasing, many of them visible from Earth. To observe them, you have to be in an area far from the cities; most are shown as a simple star moving slowly and straight across the sky.

However, since 1997 there are many objects that throw brief and spectacular flashes of light: they are the 66 Iridium telecommunications satellites, dedicated to providing worldwide coverage to mobile telephony . Despite their small wingspan -barely 4 meters-, they even shine more than Venus, which is the most luminous planet, so they are sometimes the brightest visible objects in the sky.

It is due to the fact that they are equipped with three antennas covered in silver and polished aluminum that reflect the light that falls on them , and, as they are of low orbit – they rotate at 780 km from Earth – their flash, of 15 seconds, is very intense. Their position can be found through this website:

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