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What you see is the sun's light being reflected off it. This is the same for any satellite. As it passes it first starts to reflect more light at you so it gets brighter, and then it starts to reflect less light and slowly appears to fade away. It doesn't have any flashing lights, which is how you know it is a satellite and not a plane. It is the largest man made object orbiting us, so it is the brightest satellite. You can see other satellites in the same way, brightening up and then fading away, but as they are smaller, they reflect less light back and don't look as bright.

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โˆ™ 2009-07-16 20:29:53
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Q: Why does the international space station look like a star?
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