(Please note: the contents of this post may be construed as being somewhat sarcastic)
A couple of things to consider..
Ask yourself how many satellites are actually in orbit not counting the Geostationary
(we are not really interested in those since they are stationary relative to a ground based observer and take 24 hours to make one orbit, LEO's on
the other hand take around 90 minutes and so orbit the planet about 16 times a day...)
You'll find that there are approx 4000+
as guesstimated by our pals at
If you want to count them yourself go here
and report back to us once you've finished.
Following our previous logic, thats only about 32000 chances (4000 by 16 /2) of seeing one per day in the bright shiny sun which is about Mag neg
Satellites from the ground...
Wait untill it's daylight, go outside, look up.
Wait for about three hours and then come back and tell us how many of those 4000+ you managed to count (since you have just given every one of them
two chances to orbit the entire planet).
(Send Springer your answers printed on the back of a baked trout if you can catch more than 1, he'll love you for it.. and remember, photographic
evidence only please.)
This aside, I apologise, I simply loathe this kind of presumption.
There is a way to see satellites during the day but it is rare.
It's called a satellite flare.
It has nothing to do with the solar pannels which you may agree, tend not to be much use unless they are pointing towards the sun, and hence not
likley to reflect into the nearest handycam.
Flares exist when something like the antenna of an LEO satellite manage's to hit an angle where it its possible for it to relect light towards the
surface of the earth, this results in a brief 'flare' of light, lasting only a couple of seconds, which is just visible to the naked eye during the
day at its very, very best.
Example animation here
It is rather doubtful that you could track not one, but two, of them all the way over from horizon to horizon with the naked eye during the day.
If we knew the time date and location of the video it would be trivial to determine exactly which satellites were orbiting at that time, alas, it
appears that is much too complicated a thing to do for the commentators..
Above oakland hills on sunday the 9th june at 3 pm there were the following satellites.
Iridium 86 at 2.41pm (mag 2.6)
Iridium 50 at 2.50pm (mag 2.8)
Iridium 56 at 2.59pm (mag 2.8)
Iridium 52 at 3.07pm (mag 2.56)
Rosat at 3.07 pm (mag 2)
ATV-1 and the ISS (tied) from 3.09 to 3.16 maxing at magnitude 1.15 according to my machines
and after that a few others...
Unfortunately all we have is media garbage and I personally have never seen a satellite orbit across the sky with the same continuous luminosity as
Never mind two of them on the same day..
[edit on 9-6-2008 by Absence of Self]