Was stargazing last night and spotted an object traversing the sky from roughly East to West. It had a bright light that was intermittently flashing but with three different intensities. The "third" flash was really bright like a camera flash. Never seen a plane with lights this bright and was not a satellite (like any that I've ever seen), nor was it the ISS as that was not in this part of the world at this time. Any ideas anyone?

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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like a satellite with specular reflections to me. There are very few objects in an east-to-west orbit, so if the date, time, (time zone), latitude, and longitude were known, heavens-above.com or some other site would be able to identify the object (unless it is a classified satellite). Knowing which constellations it passed through would also be good to know. $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Sep 3, 2019 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ I can verify if it was the AJISAI (EGS) satellite (a japanese passive geodetic beacon consisting in a 2 m sphere surrounded by mirrors) but you should give some extra information like observing location, date and time, and if you remember something about it, the region of the sky where you saw it. $\endgroup$
    – Swike
    Sep 3, 2019 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ I saw the same thing last night in South Africa just after night fall,but heading in an west to east direction. Looked very much like a tipe of satellite, can't confirm which one sorry. $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2019 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


It seems you saw a Tumbling satellite. They don't have a constant brightness. This is a result of satellite's rotation. Learn more: http://www.satobs.org/tumble/tumbleintro.html


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