# Where can you not see a satellite

• solarcat
In summary, the latitude and longitude where a geostationary satellite cannot be seen is at the poles, due to the Earth blocking the view. The formula for determining the position where the satellite is just barely visible is cos (angle of latitude or longitude) = Radius of Earth / (Height of satellite + Radius of Earth).
solarcat

## Homework Statement

Where on Earth (what latitude/Longitude) can you not see a geostationary satellite, even if it's in the same hemisphere as you?

## Homework Equations

The height of a geostationary satellite is 35,860,000 meters
The radius of Earth is 6,371,000 meters.

## The Attempt at a Solution

So I guess you can't see the satellite from the poles... I'm not really sure why, but maybe it's because it's as far away as you can get from the satellite. This is the diagram but I'm not really sure if this is correct or how to get the latitude from it,

#### Attachments

• Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 1.41.37 PM.png
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Leo Consoli
It is true that you will not see it from the poles because you would have to look through the Earth. However, it is not only the pole. Think about what has to be true for the position where you just barely see it touch the horizon and make a diagram for that.

Leo Consoli
SO is the diagram as below...
And the solution is cos (angle of latitude or longitude) = (Height of satellite + Radius of Earth) / Radius of Earth?

#### Attachments

• Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 2.24.34 PM.png
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solarcat said:
SO is the diagram as below...
And the solution is cos (angle of latitude or longitude) = (Height of satellite + Radius of Earth) / Radius of Earth?
Close.

But if you try to take the inverse cosine of a number larger than one, what do you get?

Oh, sorry, typed that wrong - it would be cos (angle of latitude or longitude) = Radius of Earth/(Height of satellite + Radius of Earth)
Got it! Thank you!

berkeman and jbriggs444

## 1. Where on Earth can you not see a satellite?

Satellites are visible from most locations on Earth, but there are a few places where they may not be visible. These include areas with heavy light pollution, such as cities with bright lights and tall buildings, or areas with dense cloud cover or heavy precipitation. Additionally, satellites in geostationary orbit (22,236 miles above the equator) may not be visible from locations near the poles.

## 2. Can you see satellites during the daytime?

Yes, it is possible to see satellites during the daytime. However, they may be more difficult to spot due to the bright sunlight. Satellites are typically most visible during the early morning or evening hours when the sky is darker but the sun is still reflecting off the satellite.

## 3. How do you know if a satellite is passing overhead?

You can use satellite tracking websites or apps, such as Satellite Tracker or Heavens-Above, to see when and where satellites will be passing overhead. These tools use real-time data to track the location of satellites and provide information on when they will be visible from your location.

## 4. Are there any places where satellites are always visible?

No, there are no places where satellites are always visible. However, there are certain locations, such as the International Space Station (ISS) or the Hubble Space Telescope, that orbit close enough to Earth to be visible almost every night.

## 5. How long can you see a satellite for?

The length of time a satellite is visible depends on its orbit and your location. Some satellites may only be visible for a few minutes, while others may be visible for up to 10 minutes or more. The ISS, for example, can be visible for up to 6 minutes as it passes overhead.

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