Discovering the Mystery of Satellite Shadows: A Beginner's Guide

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In summary, the conversation discusses whether it is possible to see the shadow of an artificial satellite from Earth. The conclusion is that unless you are in orbit less than 500m from the satellite, it is not possible to see the shadow due to the size of the sun and the angle of the shadow.
  • #1
Another noob qeustion that I do not have the knowledge to figure out.

It's is possible to see the shadow of a sattilte?
 
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  • #2
You mean an artificial satellite, rather than the moon (in astronomy moons are properly called satellites)
The sun has an angular diameter of around 0.5 degree so the shadow will form a cone with an angle of 0.5 deg.
Say a satellite is 2-3m across (eg Hubble) then the cone will be 500m long (easy to see if you draw a sketch)
So unless you are in orbit less than 500m from the satellite - no you won't see a shadow
 
  • #3
oh , that's amazing, the sun is far larger,
*draws out sketch* troginnometry ^.^
 

What are satellite shadows?

Satellite shadows are the dark areas that can be seen on the Earth's surface when an artificial satellite passes overhead. These shadows are created when the satellite blocks the sunlight from reaching the ground in its path.

How are satellite shadows formed?

Satellite shadows are formed when the satellite blocks the sunlight from reaching the Earth's surface. This can happen when the satellite is positioned between the Sun and the Earth, casting a shadow on the ground below.

What causes satellite shadows to change in size and shape?

The size and shape of satellite shadows can change depending on the position of the satellite in its orbit, the angle of the Sun's rays, and the topography of the Earth's surface. This can cause the shadows to appear longer or shorter, wider or narrower, and more or less defined.

What is the purpose of studying satellite shadows?

Studying satellite shadows can provide valuable information about the Earth's topography and the movement of artificial satellites. It can also aid in the development of more accurate satellite positioning and navigation systems.

Are there any potential drawbacks or dangers associated with satellite shadows?

There are no known dangers associated with satellite shadows. However, they may cause temporary disruptions in satellite communications and can impact the accuracy of satellite-based measurements and observations.

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