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I was using my telescope to look at a nebula, intell I seen a star like object that was moving at a moderate speed in a straight line and eventually dimmed out. My first thought that it was just a satellite but I could only see it through my telescope which makes me think that it was to small to be a satellite. I'm not sure.

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  • $\begingroup$ Satellites can and have been seen through telescopes. Here is one way to do it, Here is another and you can see the (non-)GIF from the Royal Observatory tweeted here give it a few seconds to load. But if you want to get an answer here, you need to add more information - what nebula? what time (UTC)? What size telescope (diameter)? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Aug 24 '16 at 5:53
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like a satellite us Uhoh has said. (I see them through scopes and binoculars frequently.) You might be able to identify it by going to the "Heavens Above" site and providing your location, the date & time. $\endgroup$
    – Andy
    Aug 24 '16 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ I'm confused. Why does only being able to see it through your telescope mean it isn't a satellite. Possibly it is just a very small or faint satellite which requires a telescope to see and is too difficult to detect by the naked eye. The description of a "moderate speed in a straight line and eventually dimming out" sounds like every satellite I've ever seen. $\endgroup$
    – zephyr
    Aug 24 '16 at 12:54
  • $\begingroup$ CubeSats are a popular type of small satellite that would only be visible through a telescope. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Aug 25 '16 at 1:04
  • $\begingroup$ A piece of space junk is also very likely. Lots of second stage boosters and other rocket parts floating around up there that are small enough that you would only notice them through a telescope $\endgroup$ Aug 29 '16 at 20:11
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Comments formed into community wiki

Satellites can and have been seen through telescopes. Possibly it is just a very small or faint satellite which requires a telescope to see and is too difficult to detect by the naked eye. The description of a "moderate speed in a straight line and eventually dimming out" sounds like every satellite. A piece of space junk is also possible. Lots of second stage boosters and other rocket parts floating around up there that are small enough that you would only notice them through a telescope

You might be able to identify it by going to the Heavens Above site and providing your location, the date & time.

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