I came across this sentence in a magazine:

We sit outside the Lorne Community Hall, Victoria, watching the MIA satellite overhead.

I wonder if the author is talking about an artificial satellite. Can one recognize an artificial satellite with naked eyes?

Thanks for response.

  • $\begingroup$ Could you add a citation so we can check out the article? $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Oct 12 '14 at 13:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ All other parts of the article have to do with the main topic- the boots that accompanied the author in his travel to many places. $\endgroup$
    – user2598
    Oct 12 '14 at 14:08
  • $\begingroup$ Context can be everything. Was he in Australia? $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Oct 12 '14 at 17:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This question probably would be best on Space Exploration.SE $\endgroup$
    – user2449
    Oct 13 '14 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ i would guess "missing in action" (like in the military), but if you are seeing it overhead, that doesnt make sense $\endgroup$ Oct 13 '14 at 7:15

As @usethedeathstar said, MIA satellite most likely means 'Missing In Action'. The following lyrics from the song 'MIA satellite' seems to solidify this:

MIA Satellite-
You've got no path in sight.
You leave me hanging in the dead of night-
In the dead of night.

Regarding the ability to identify artificial satellites, it is possible to identify some satellites. Some identification guides:


Iridium satellites are usually faster than most satellites, but their tell-tale sign is that they go from dim to bright to dim as they rotate. This bright flash is known as an Iridium Flare.


This moves East to West and is brighter than the average satellite.

  • $\begingroup$ Do you have any evidence to back this up? $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Oct 13 '14 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 The MIA satellite bit or the identification? $\endgroup$
    – Beta Decay
    Oct 14 '14 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ The MIA satellite bit. I thought you were fine with the identification. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Oct 15 '14 at 0:16

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