Photos: Spotting Satellites & Spaceships from Earth

Curved Air

Mike Tyrrell

An ISS flare photographed as the space station passed over the town Nydek in the Czech Republic.

We All Shine On

Mike Tyrell

An ISS flare, caused by sunlight reflecting off the solar panels of the space station, was captured by amateur astronomer Mike Tyrell as it passed over England.

Don't Pass Me By

E. Morana

Skywatcher Ed Morana routinely hunts for the International Space Station as it passes in front of the Moon. This multiple image was assembled from images he took of the ISS passing in front of the Moon on Feb. 13, 2006.

Satellite's Gone

IfA/Rob Ratkowski

Debris from the shot-down spy satellite USA 193 was visible from Maui, Hawaii.

There's Always Someone Looking At You

Greg Roberts

This image is a still from a short video produced by Greg Roberts of the U.S. secret satellite DSP-F23 (bright dot at bottom) as it approached the ASTRA 1 constellation group.

Crackin' Up


Two NASA chase planes captured the European ATV space cargo ship breaking up in the atmosphere upon successful reentry and completion of the mission.

Blaze of Glory


This is one of the first images taken by the DC-8 aircraft which observed the re-entry of Jules Verne ATV over the Pacific Ocean.

ISS Over West Chester, Pennsylvania, August 2011

Jeff Berkes

Photographer Jeff Berkes caught the International Space Station over West Chester, Pennsylvania, on August 13, 2011.

Phobos-Grunt Captured in Video

Thierry Legault

The failed Russian mission to one of Mars' small moons was captured by Thierry Legault and Emmanuel Rietsch ( on video, New Year's Day 2012.

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News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.