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A geostationary orbit (or Geostationary Earth Orbit - GEO) is a geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earth's equator (0° latitude), with a period equal to the Earth's rotational period and an orbital eccentricity of approximately zero. These characteristics are required so that, from locations on the surface of the Earth, geostationary objects appear motionless in the sky, making the GEO an orbit of great interest to operators of communications and weather satellites. Due to the constant 0° latitude and circularity of geostationary orbits, satellites in GEO differ in location by longitude only....
...Geostationary orbits are useful because they cause a satellite to appear stationary with respect to a fixed point on the rotating Earth. As a result, an antenna can point in a fixed direction and maintain a link with the satellite. The satellite orbits in the direction of the Earth's rotation, at an altitude of 35,786 km (22,236 mi) above ground. This altitude is significant because it produces an orbital period equal to the Earth's period of rotation, known as the sidereal day.
A Satellite flash.
Some artificial satellites also have (besides curved parts) large flat shiny parts (for example, solar panels). When such a flat part has just the right orientation relative to both the Sun and the observer, then such a satellite reflects much more sunlight to the observer than the curved parts alone can do. Because the satellites usually rotate around their axis, the required orientation will be rare and last only for a few moments. Such a satellite can therefore show a sudden flash in the sky that lasts only a moment but can get much brighter than any star.
On Earth, there is a similar situation when sunlight is reflected to you from the window of a far-away building (when the Sun is low in the sky). If you wait for a little while, or take a few steps to the side, then the flash disappears again.
The Iridium communication satellites are well-known for producing such flashes.
Sorry, there's no way you're seeing a satellite in geostationary orbit. They're at an altitude of 35,786 km. Assuming they're about 2 meters across, they're only about .01 arcseconds across. Venus is 9 arcseconds across at it's smallest point. Even the Hubble telescope doesn't have enough resolution to see something that small. Your eyes CERTAINLY don't.
Originally posted by havok
reply to post by Ophiuchus 13
The possibility is high.
The only reason I am claiming it's a satellite is because of personal experience.
At first, when I watched a bright, flashing, red-green-white, object, I thought it was crazy, too.
Then I did more research and came to the assumption it was a GOES satellite.
Originally posted by Copernicus
Sounds interesting. Do you have a HTC phone or a iphone? You should be able to point your phone to it with Google Sky Map enabled and see if there is supposed to be something there. It uses your location and orientation to see where you are (using GPS) and what you are pointing at in relation to the sky. Quite fascinating stuff.
[edit on 4-8-2010 by Copernicus]
Originally posted by eros6489
Originally posted by Phil C Hickus
I would guess the star Antares.
This would be my best guess as well. The OP said it was in the south and mainly redish in color. It's changing colors would be because of it's low position in the sky.