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ISS Visibility If Painted Black?

  1. Oct 22, 2014 #1
    Hey All,

    Would the International Space Station be visible to the naked eye if it was painted black?

    Thanks for any replies!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2014 #2
    Thanks for the post! Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
  4. Oct 27, 2014 #3
    Assuming it was a very (rough) matte surface paint I suppose it wouldn't be visible, but direct sunlight up there is concentrated. The rougher the surface, light scatters in more directions, thus making the Fresnel effect (stronger reflection at angles) much less noticeable. Interesting question by the way! (:
  5. Oct 27, 2014 #4
    Thanks for the reply! I’ll have to research anti-reflective coatings. Maybe the stuff they use on the B-2 Stealth Bomber would be sufficient to cut any noticeable reflectivity.

    If mass production was feasible, one could cover the station in this carbon nanotube coating (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/super-black-material.html)! You might be able to see it pass in front of the moon, but it would happen so quickly I doubt it would be noticeable.
  6. Oct 28, 2014 #5
    No problem Quantula! Interesting article, it appears light is scattered inside and the micro tubes pick up relatively the same reflection, impressive.
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