This morning at 5:50a ET I saw a steady bright white light in western sky, approx 270 degrees heading straight east. This was a steady light, no fluctuation of any kind, no nav lights. Much higher than any jet. Moved from western horizon to eastern horizon, 270 to 90, never wavered. Took it under 2 minutes for this trip. Couldn’t have been Star Link as it was one object, as bright and as large as say Venus. Couldn’t be a satellite as that wouldn’t be reflecting any light at that time of the morning in the western sky or even when it was straight over head. Long post, sorry. Any ideas?

  • Location is Enfield, CT. Sunrise was 7:15a ET.
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    $\begingroup$ What is your location on Earth, and what time was sunrise? $\endgroup$
    – JohnHoltz
    Dec 22, 2023 at 2:02
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, this is almost certainly the ISS. With a location, could probably pin down the exact geometry of the pass from HeavensAbove, or other similar online sources. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Dec 22, 2023 at 16:14
  • $\begingroup$ Location is Enfield, CT. Sunrise was 7:15a ET. Not sure about the ISS thing. How could it be that bright in a western sky with no reflection of sunlight. It’s like it’s up there with giant headlights right? $\endgroup$
    – JMowery007
    Dec 23, 2023 at 7:18
  • $\begingroup$ ISS is 400km up, which means it can catch sunlight while you're still in darkness. I'm a skosh south of your latitude., and significantly westward, but in the same timezone. For me, visible passes have been happening in the morning since about the 13th,. Had a high overhead visible pass at 7AM on the 17th, but you're also getting sunrises about 45 minutes before I do. That said, ISS high overhead passes are usually about six minutes from horizon to horizon at my lat. $\endgroup$
    – notovny
    Dec 23, 2023 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh that would be a duplicate then. In fact there are many duplicates. e.g. astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/21621/… $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Dec 24, 2023 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


Your question was posted December 21 evening (ET). Heavens Above (using @ProfRob's link to Heavens Above for location (lat=41.9789, lon=-72.5755) and time zone (tz=EST)) and selecting Morning for December 21, the Taingong space station at -2.7 mag was crossing west to east between 5:46 and 5:51 with a near-zenith maximum elevation of 81°.

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