Why can I see ISS at all?

ISS doesn't emit its own light. It's visible because it is illuminated by the sun. What you see is in fact reflected sunlight. Incidentally, the same is true for the moon, the planets and all other Earth-orbiting satellites!

1 comments

#1

Here is one more way to describe what you see:

In the AM, it is sunlight reflected off the ISS just before sunrise, after the ISS exits the earth's shadow.

In the PM, it is sunlight reflected off the ISS just after sunset, but before the ISS enters the earth's shadow.

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