Are Satellites Fake? Could there be a giant conspiracy that puts weather balloons up in the sky and fakes satellites in order to perpetuate a giant conspiracy? I can’t believe that I am really having to write this article, but we’ve been discussing the recent rise in people who believe in a flat earth, and one of the Many Insane Things Flat Earthers Believe is that satellites are not real. This is because they believe that we live under an impenetrable dome, and hence space does not actually exist.

When your fantasy cosmology requires space to not exist, well, the existence of satellites is an inconvenient fact that needs to be explained away somehow. One way they have done this is to simply deny they exist, or to claim that the lights we see in the sky passing over us are just fake satellites attached to weather balloons as part of a giant conspiracy designed to trick us into believing that space and satellites really exist.

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Image Credit: Kirkland Air Force Base
In support of their insane theory, Flat earthers will put up deceptive videos like one entitled ‘PUTTING TO REST FAKE SATELLITES USING HALE TELESCOPE’ (google it if you wish, but I’m not going to promote this deceptive video by linking to it). This sounds very scientific. If one of the most powerful satellites in the world proves satellites don’t exists, well, it must be true!

But this is just another one of the flat earth lies (not even a half truth in this video, just outright lying) and the sum total of all the ‘evidence’ in the video that claims to ‘put to rest’ the existence of satellites, is this image, without any supporting evidence. Literally, there is nothing more about satellites in the entire video.


Image Credit: the video mentioned above

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the video is just a series of psychological triggers, such as attempting to associate the moon landing and NASA with Nazis, and an image saying, “Level 6 thinkers prove the earth is a stationary linear plane”. Apparently, Level 6 thinkers think the earth is not just a plane, but a ‘linear’ one (very strange), and don’t require evidence, just claims, since there was no evidence satellites don’t exist. So, it doesn’t even address the question are satellites fake, it just implies they are.

Sadly, this video has over 200,000 views and there are actually people who believe this and keep spreading this video around as if it actually contains evidence proving satellites don’t exist when it doesn’t. Because of this, I wanted to give you all the evidence you need to prove that satellites do, indeed, exist using your own observations.

1. Are Satellites Fake? You Can See Them Yourself

The first proof satellites actually exist is that you can simply see them yourself. There are several ways you can track satellites and even get phone alerts when one is going to be in your area. There are several phone apps, including:


Image Credit: HotAstronomy

While many of these satellites are too small to see at all, and the few you can see you can’t really see anything but lights in the sky, if you have a telescope or a really good zoom on your camera, you can actually see the International Space Station (ISS) yourself just as thousands of people have, like astronomer Torsten Edelmann did when he caught the transit of the ISS across the moon in this time lapse just above.

2. Satellite Dishes Pointing in the Direction of the Geostationary Satellites

Geostationary satellites are satellites that orbit the earth at a speed that makes them appear to be stationary relative to the earth. Most satellite dishes for internet get their satellite signals from these satellites because most areas of the world can connect to a single geostationary satellite located on the equator.

Satellite Dishes Image Credit: Pixabay

Flat earthers deny this and say that the dishes on people’s homes are really just getting data from ground based towers and not satellites. However, if you go on Google earth, or travel to extreme latitudes, you can compare where each area points their dishes. You will find that each area on earth points their dish to the equator. At the equator, dishes are pointed straight up. This is pretty solid evidence that satellites really do exist.

3. Are Satellites Fake? Check the raw satellite data against known events

Here’s a fun way you can prove that the raw satellite data is real and hasn’t been faked. There are three sets (that I am aware of) of raw satellite data that is freely available for public use:

  1. Himawari 8 Satellite– live image every 8 minutes
  2. GOES Satellite
  3. Copernicus Satellite Data– shout out to @fredrikaa for letting me know about this one

As an example of what you can do, this guy took the Himawari satellite data, cross checked it against a cloud pattern someone took from a plane, and matched up the date, time, and location of the flight and found the exact cloud pattern on the satellite data.

Such level of detail would be impossible to fake, and since anyone can check this data for themselves against weather patterns, tornados, hurricanes, wildfires, or even to Count Penguin Populations in Antarctica there would simply be no way to fake this data, especially with the incredibly high resolution each of the images provides. So, that certainly answers the question are satellites fake in the negative.

4. Watching Satellite flares

Satellite flares are glints of sunlight that reflect off the surface of satellites and can be seen with with the naked eye at night. Iridium satellites are a group of 60+ satellites that are well-known for their particularly bright flares due to the size and configuration of their solar panels. Below is a video of an amateur capturing an iridium flare.

 These flares can even be predicted with great accuracy, and you can go to the website Heavens-Above to track satellite flares, or some of the satellite tracking apps mentioned above also track irridium flares and will notify you of when one will occur in your area.

5. Geostationary Satellites in Star Trails

Are satellites fake? You can find out with star trails. Star trails are those beautiful time lapse images of the stars that show the stars as they appear to circle the earth during the night like the one below.


Image Credit: By A. Duro/ESO via Wikimedia Commons

Well, as we mentioned, geostationary satellites are satellites that appear stationary relative to the earth. As such, they don’t move on star trails and, as such, you can see these satellites as a ball of light amidst all of the lines of stars. This evidence rules out the possibility that these are fake satellites attached to weather balloons, as well, since weather balloons cannot remain stationary, particularly for months and years on end like these geostationary satellites do.

Bonus!

As an added bonus of supporting evidence for the existence of satellites, but not included in the 5 above because not directly observable, are all of the companies that make satellites and their equipment, such as: Spacex, United Launch Alliance, Bloostar, Interorbital Systems (which makes affordable ‘hobby’ satellites for private individuals), Arianespace, Vulcan Aerospace, and hundreds of others into which venture capitalists have invested over $8 billion in the past 5 years alone.(1).

Just think about it, does it make more sense that satellites just really do exist and what you are seeing are truly satellites, or that the government pays companies to do work to make fake satellites, fake launches, and even keep fake satellites flying through the air constantly on weather balloons, somehow keeping them flying around the world on a tight schedule (balloons are at the mercy of the winds) such that they give us apps to track them?

Since we can actually see satellites and match the raw data to real life events in the world, it’s safe to say that satellites really do exist. If you don’t believe me, you can find out for yourself in at least 5 easy ways. So, are satellites fake? We can surely answer that with a hearty No!