Welcome to Laser Pointer Forums! If you are looking for a laser you may want to check out the database of laser pointer companies. The link will open in a new window for your convenience.

 Laser Pointer Forums - Discuss Laser Pointers You can't see laser beams in space. Laser Pointer Company Database     Laser Top Sites List     Lasers by Type     Green Lasers

12-20-2014, 05:45 PM #1
 Class 3B Laser Join Date: Jan 2014 Location: Deployed to Iraq Posts: 4,234 Rep Power: 2080
Class 3B Laser

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Deployed to Iraq
Posts: 4,234
Rep Power: 2080
You can't see laser beams in space.

What's this about? You can't see laser beams in space, at any power level, right?

UFO Shoots Laser Near Space Station? NASA Says There's An Explanation For This Bizarre Sighting

__________________

http://www.lexellaser.com/techinfo_wavelengths.htm

Laser Safety:
http://www.laserpointersafety.com/index.html

Angular Size Calculator; use with diode angle of radiation specification to calculate the needed lens diameter for a given FL:
http://www.1728.org/angsize.htm

Divergence to spot size calculator: http://tinyurl.com/spotsize - 1 mRad is about .057 degrees which from the earth would expand to be ~10% the diameters of the moon or sun at their distances.

Divergence Calculator: http://www.pseudonomen.com/lasers/ca...alculator.html - Measure your lasers beamwidth at 1 foot & then at a further distance to calculate the divergence.

Online calculator to determine spot intensity at different mRad's & powers @ distances: http://tinyurl.com/divergence-calculator

Laser Power Density Calculator: http://www.ophiropt.com/laser-measur...ity-calculator

How to build a laser beam expander to reduce divergence: http://tinyurl.com/BeamExpander

RHD's Relative Perceived Brightness Calculator. Compare brightness @nm: http://lsrtools.1apps.com/relativebrightness

YAG Power Calculator, i.e. convert ns @ mJ to peak power in watts http://tinyurl.com/YAG-Pulse

The forum costs more to run than donations received, if you wish to help click this link: http://laserpointerforums.com/donations.htm

_______

12-20-2014, 05:59 PM #2
 Class 4 Laser Join Date: Sep 2007 Location: Wisconsin Posts: 8,852 Rep Power: 1350
Cyparagon
Class 4 Laser

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 8,852
Rep Power: 1350
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

Could be lens flare, a reflection, camera artifact, data corruption, electrical interference, cosmic ray interference, or several other things. It could also be the beam that was created in the atmosphere, and not in space. We are looking down on the planet, after all.

The only important paragraph from the article is:

"the laser beam was actually a test firing of the new Optical Payload for Laser Communcation, or OPALS, system run in part by NASA from its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California."
__________________
A problem well stated is a problem half solved.

12-20-2014, 06:00 PM #3
 Class 2 Laser Join Date: Nov 2011 Location: Edmonton, AB Posts: 377 Rep Power: 67
Polonium210
Class 2 Laser

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 377
Rep Power: 67
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

I would say you probably could see the beam in space as the laser would refract off any space dust or ice particles floating around.
__________________

__________________________________________________
405nm 75mW Wicked Lasers E2 Evolution
405nm 500mW S06J build
405nm 750mW S06J build
445nm 1W Aurora C6 custom build
445nm 825mW UltraFire A1 custom build
445nm 800mW Arctic Spyder III
445nm >2W M-140 Saik custom build
447nm 1W Spartan
520nm 180mW 501B
532nm 15mW laser pointer
532nm 75mW TTL Lab module
532nm 125mW Wicked Lasers E2
532nm 150mW Rayfoss
532nm 300mW Wicked Lasers Krypton
632.8nm 1mW Laserex HeNe handheld
633nm 3mW HeNe Siemens
635nm 200mW o-Like
638nm 560mW Mitsubishi in Aurora SH-034 custom build
650nm 120mW Warnlaser pointer
660nm 250mW Small Sun A33
660nm 265mW Rayfoss
RGB 200mW Labby
1064nm Pulsed Nd:YAG Laser ~ 10-50mJ output
10600nm 40W Co2 laser
LaserBee A 2watt LPM

LASER PICS

TESLA COILS
__________________________________________________

12-20-2014, 06:41 PM #4
 Class 3B Laser Join Date: May 2013 Location: Snohomish County Washington, US Posts: 3,800 Rep Power: 1086
Pi R Squared
Class 3B Laser

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Snohomish County Washington, US
Posts: 3,800
Rep Power: 1086
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

The ISS is still within the ionosphere, it might be possible to see a laser if it's powerful enough. The other explanation would be that it's not a laser.

Alan
__________________
Keychain 650nm <5mW
Quartet 4-in-1 630-680nm <1mW

AtlasNova 635nm <5mW
MillionAccessories 532nm <5mW broken
M462 462nm one of a kind (in progress)
PLTB450B 450nm 1913mW G2 lens
PL520 520nm 82mW acrylic lens
S06J 12X 405nm 590mW G2 lens
C6 M140 445nm 1.5W 3 element lens
9mm 445nm with G2 lens in a stainless steel host
Radiant Electronics X4 3.7W Laser Power Meter

___________________________________________
The light that shines twice as bright burns half as long.

12-21-2014, 12:54 AM #5
 Class 2M Laser Join Date: Oct 2013 Location: NewBrunswick, Canada Posts: 896 Rep Power: 325
Blarg King
Class 2M Laser

Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 896
Rep Power: 325
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

Space dust/ debris, residual atmosphere (theres enough atmosphere at ISS height to cause drag on the ISS)

Also, if it was aliens, and they had hostile intent, then the ISS would be a vapor cloud by now.
__________________
405- 45 mW ebay pen
405- 90 mW ebay laser Deceased (Caught fire???)
445- 1.7 Watt Blord 501B
473- 10 mW B&W Tek Labby

520- 150 mW LaserBTB HL520
532- 40 mW ebay pen
532- 80 mW WickedLasers Fusion
532- 220 mW SkyLasers
638- 180 mW 501B

638- 5 mW LaserGlow Libra
633- 1 mW Uniphase Novette HeNe
638- 1 mW (?) HeNe Tube
650- 5 mW ebay pen
980- 60 mW ebay pen

Last edited by Blarg King; 12-21-2014 at 12:56 AM.

12-21-2014, 03:41 AM #6
 Class 2 Laser Join Date: Jan 2014 Location: South Australia. Posts: 466 Rep Power: 83
busman2
Class 2 Laser

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: South Australia.
Posts: 466
Rep Power: 83
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

It is a Ray Gun. Aliens have the technology to build these but are just working on one powerful enough to actually do some damage. They will be back when they have got it right!
__________________
If you like using the LPF site please consider a donation each month!
http://youtu.be/n6ejwtuOf-0

405nm 850 mW Custom host "Busman mini sceptre" by Sinner
405nm 100mW module from ebay DIY C6 Host.
445nm 2.5W MS-ENVY
445nm 2.7W Jayrob Maglite
445nm M140 1242 mW GITD Kryton Groove.
473nm B&W TEK LAB Lasers X 2
488nm 40mW Laser Physics Argon Ion
520nm 190 mW GITD Kryton Groove.
532nm 120mW DIY C6 Host.
532nm 200mW DIY C6 Host.
589nm 50mW DL Spartan
593.5nm 4.7mW Rigel 5
638nm 640mW MS-ENVY
650nm 250mW

Safety Glasses. Eagle Pair. One for da Reds and one for da Blues and Greens

12-21-2014, 03:53 AM #7
 Class 3B Laser Join Date: May 2013 Location: Snohomish County Washington, US Posts: 3,800 Rep Power: 1086
Pi R Squared
Class 3B Laser

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Snohomish County Washington, US
Posts: 3,800
Rep Power: 1086
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

__________________
Keychain 650nm <5mW
Quartet 4-in-1 630-680nm <1mW

AtlasNova 635nm <5mW
MillionAccessories 532nm <5mW broken
M462 462nm one of a kind (in progress)
PLTB450B 450nm 1913mW G2 lens
PL520 520nm 82mW acrylic lens
S06J 12X 405nm 590mW G2 lens
C6 M140 445nm 1.5W 3 element lens
9mm 445nm with G2 lens in a stainless steel host
Radiant Electronics X4 3.7W Laser Power Meter

___________________________________________
The light that shines twice as bright burns half as long.

12-21-2014, 06:48 AM #8
 Class 2M Laser Join Date: Oct 2013 Location: NewBrunswick, Canada Posts: 896 Rep Power: 325
Blarg King
Class 2M Laser

Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 896
Rep Power: 325
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

Aliens have observed us playing with cats and lasers and are trying to get us to do the same.
__________________
405- 45 mW ebay pen
405- 90 mW ebay laser Deceased (Caught fire???)
445- 1.7 Watt Blord 501B
473- 10 mW B&W Tek Labby

520- 150 mW LaserBTB HL520
532- 40 mW ebay pen
532- 80 mW WickedLasers Fusion
532- 220 mW SkyLasers
638- 180 mW 501B

638- 5 mW LaserGlow Libra
633- 1 mW Uniphase Novette HeNe
638- 1 mW (?) HeNe Tube
650- 5 mW ebay pen
980- 60 mW ebay pen

12-21-2014, 06:51 AM #9
 Class 2M Laser Join Date: Nov 2009 Location: Massachussetts Posts: 683 Rep Power: 56
Moebius
Class 2M Laser

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Massachussetts
Posts: 683
Rep Power: 56
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Blarg King Space dust/ debris, residual atmosphere (theres enough atmosphere at ISS height to cause drag on the ISS)
So do they need to periodically use payload assist rockets to boost the ISS to a higher altitude?
__________________

-----------------------------

O-Like Silver Chrome ~50mW
Mini 1x10440 pen ~90mW
Novalasers X100 Compact Portable ~100mW
CR2 Keychain 6x GGW (Jayrob/Dr.Lava) V.2 (IgorT) w/405G ~245mW
Kryton Groove S06J 12X (kmm5117) 3-Element ~575mW
Kryton Groove M-140 (Kenom/Flaminpyro) w/405G ~1.2W
Kryton Groove M-140 (kmm5117) G-2 ~2W
C6 M-140 (Daguin) custom focus ring (MrCrouse) w/AixiZ G ~1.5W
C6 M-140 (Jayrob) w/copper heatsink 405-g-2 ~1.5W
501B M-140 (Marcuspeh) purple w/black heatsink G9 w/brass ~2.3W
Blue Ice M-140 (Yobresal) ~1.5W
501B w/copper heat sink (Blord) ~1W
MXDL LOC (Daguin/LDFW) 420mA ~300mW

12-21-2014, 12:34 PM #10
 Class 3R Laser Join Date: Feb 2008 Location: Dalzell, SC Posts: 2,238 Rep Power: 610
Dr_Evil
Class 3R Laser

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Dalzell, SC
Posts: 2,238
Rep Power: 610
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Moebius So do they need to periodically use payload assist rockets to boost the ISS to a higher altitude?
NASA TV Presents: Inside the ISS - December 2014 - YouTube
__________________
645 to 660 - Z-bolt BTP-8E, jayrob C6 w/LOC
638 - JayRob C6 w/ML520G54
635 - Z-bolt BTE-4S
632.8 - 10mW HeNe
589 - PGL-III-C 80mW(100+ peak/average)
543 - GreeNe
532 - Optotronics RPL-260, Optotronics Pen ~20mW
520 - JayRob C6
514 - Argon SL
488 - Novalux
473 - Lasever LSR473HD-80 - 107mW peak
450 - JayRob C6 w/PL450B
445 - JayRob C6
405 - Old Leadlight that Drlava transformed (33mW), 12x in a JayRob C6 host
Multi - 2214-25MLUP ArIon

12-21-2014, 03:45 PM #11
 Class 3B Laser Join Date: Dec 2008 Location: Riverside, California Posts: 4,012 Rep Power: 222
chipdouglas
Class 3B Laser

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Riverside, California
Posts: 4,012
Rep Power: 222
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

I thought there was dust in space? So why can't you see a laser then?
__________________
IN A CONSTANT STATE OF PICNIC

I AM THE STATUS QUO

ARE YOU A NEW MEMBER, OR EVEN MORE, ARE YOU NEW TO ONLINE FORUMS... READ THIS
LASER POINTER FORUM ETIQUETTE

for pot modding facts click below

http://laserpointerforums.com/f51/pot-modding-faqs-40510.html

12-21-2014, 05:01 PM #12
 Class 3R Laser Join Date: Apr 2014 Location: NJ Posts: 1,296 Rep Power: 173
Teej
Class 3R Laser

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,296
Rep Power: 173
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

It looked more like a reflection of a red led on a window, etc, than a beam....to me at least.

The explanation that aliens have invented a red death ray, but, didn't know it would not work on earth-based technology...and, have not figured out how to aim their death ray...seems less plausible.

I'd go with observational artifact over alien attack on this one.

Last edited by Teej; 12-21-2014 at 05:03 PM.

12-21-2014, 05:18 PM #13
 Class 2M Laser Join Date: Dec 2012 Location: U.S. MI Posts: 630 Rep Power: 502
Mattronium
Class 2M Laser

Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: U.S. MI
Posts: 630
Rep Power: 502
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

I definitely don't think it is a laser beam.

First, it is too bright. Since there are fewer particles at 400km (What is the ISS's current height?) there will be less particles for the laser to bounce of off. This is one reason it looks like lasers "end" at a few hundred feet, because there are fewer particles.

Second, if it is a laser why is there a red dot at the end?

Third, you also have the problem with divergence. At 400km with an initial beam diameter of 1 meter the laser would be 100 meters wide (at 0.25mRad). Problem is the closer the laser is to the observer the better the divergence must be, and the further away it is the more power is needed.
__________________
"SAFETY FIRST, LAST AND ALWAYS" ~ Pman
Laser Safety Information

Noteworthy Lasers and λ's:
685nm: 24mW pointer pen
660nm: 230mW LPC-826
647.1nm: Omnichrome 643 air cooled Ar/Kr ion 5-line max (high hours)
638nm: 600mW Kryton Groove
635nm: 5.8mW DIY pointer pen 0.6mrad
632.8nm: 20mW HeNe SP-107 - 6mW Hughes 3225H-C made in 1980.
594.1nm: 4.1mW Coherent HeNe from Sigurthr - 1.7mW HeNe REO-LHYR-0050M
568.2nm: Ar/Kr
550nm: multi-line DPSS +/- 1nm
545nm: multi-line DPSS +/- 1nm
543.5nm: 3.1mW Coherent HeNe - 1 mW MG HeNe
542nm: multi-line DPSS
537nm: multi-line DPSS
532nm: 500mw CNI PGL-III-C, 2*Pman laser builds: 20mW & 50mW (One displaying 6-lines)
515nm: 36mW laserBtB
514.5nm: 2214-40MLA Argon Ion
501.7nm: Argon line
496.5nm: Argon line
488.0nm: Argon line
476.5nm: Argon line
462nm: 2W M462 Kryton Groove
457.9nm: Argon line
450nm: 94mW laserBtB
445nm: 2.5W NDB7875 Kryton Groove - 40mW Pen laser using NDB7242E diode
405nm: 100mW PHR-805T

Building: 337.1nm: TEA laser

"Fiat Lux" - preferably laser light.

Last edited by Mattronium; 12-21-2014 at 05:21 PM.

12-21-2014, 06:20 PM #14
 Class 2M Laser Join Date: Oct 2013 Location: NewBrunswick, Canada Posts: 896 Rep Power: 325
Blarg King
Class 2M Laser

Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 896
Rep Power: 325
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Moebius So do they need to periodically use payload assist rockets to boost the ISS to a higher altitude?
According to wikipedia, when a spacecraft visits the ISS it pushes the ISS back up.
__________________
405- 45 mW ebay pen
405- 90 mW ebay laser Deceased (Caught fire???)
445- 1.7 Watt Blord 501B
473- 10 mW B&W Tek Labby

520- 150 mW LaserBTB HL520
532- 40 mW ebay pen
532- 80 mW WickedLasers Fusion
532- 220 mW SkyLasers
638- 180 mW 501B

638- 5 mW LaserGlow Libra
633- 1 mW Uniphase Novette HeNe
638- 1 mW (?) HeNe Tube
650- 5 mW ebay pen
980- 60 mW ebay pen

12-21-2014, 06:39 PM #15
 Class 3B Laser Join Date: Jan 2014 Location: Deployed to Iraq Posts: 4,234 Rep Power: 2080
Class 3B Laser

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Deployed to Iraq
Posts: 4,234
Rep Power: 2080
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

Aha, these engineers think of everything, why let an opportunity to gain energy go to waste, smart.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mattronium . This is one reason it looks like lasers "end" at a few hundred feet, because there are fewer particles
I've had this question in mind for awhile now without understanding how far our visible beams really go. I can see a spot on cloud decks several thousand feet above me at night, but on a clear night, the beam just seems to end before going that far. I've thought this must be due to perspective or perhaps more so due to divergence weakening the amount of energy in a beam per square centimeter the further it travels, maybe that and less particles at altitude or a lot of weakening of the beam due to particles. I'd like to get a better understanding of what is happening.

Are all four of these why our laser beams seem to just end? Which of the following have the most pronounced effect to cause this?

1. Perspective?
2. Divergence?
3. Weakening due particles?
4. Less reflection due less particles at higher altitudes?
__________________

http://www.lexellaser.com/techinfo_wavelengths.htm

Laser Safety:
http://www.laserpointersafety.com/index.html

Angular Size Calculator; use with diode angle of radiation specification to calculate the needed lens diameter for a given FL:
http://www.1728.org/angsize.htm

Divergence to spot size calculator: http://tinyurl.com/spotsize - 1 mRad is about .057 degrees which from the earth would expand to be ~10% the diameters of the moon or sun at their distances.

Divergence Calculator: http://www.pseudonomen.com/lasers/ca...alculator.html - Measure your lasers beamwidth at 1 foot & then at a further distance to calculate the divergence.

Online calculator to determine spot intensity at different mRad's & powers @ distances: http://tinyurl.com/divergence-calculator

Laser Power Density Calculator: http://www.ophiropt.com/laser-measur...ity-calculator

How to build a laser beam expander to reduce divergence: http://tinyurl.com/BeamExpander

RHD's Relative Perceived Brightness Calculator. Compare brightness @nm: http://lsrtools.1apps.com/relativebrightness

YAG Power Calculator, i.e. convert ns @ mJ to peak power in watts http://tinyurl.com/YAG-Pulse

The forum costs more to run than donations received, if you wish to help click this link: http://laserpointerforums.com/donations.htm

_______

Last edited by Alaskan; 12-21-2014 at 07:18 PM.

12-21-2014, 08:46 PM #16
 Member Join Date: Dec 2014 Location: Huddersfield. UK Posts: 42 Rep Power: 0
WriggleyTinn
Member

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Huddersfield. UK
Posts: 42
Rep Power: 0
Re: You can't see laser beams in space.

I've read somewhere that the eye can't see parallel line efficiently and the brain says it ends.... I've had people say they can see my beam when they are behond where I see it ending..... though it wasn't me trying to flash the space station, honest.(the key is to do it when you know where it is but the sun is not reflecting from it back to earth).... As they can see a 1w laser shone toward them from earth according to NASA :-D

Last edited by WriggleyTinn; 12-21-2014 at 08:47 PM.

 Thread Tools Display Modes Linear Mode

 Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts BB code is On Smilies are On [IMG] code is On HTML code is OffTrackbacks are On Pingbacks are On Refbacks are On Forum Rules

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:35 PM.

 -- DarkShadows V5 -- Responsive LPF -2562016 -- Default Style Contact Us - Laser Pointer Forums - Archive - Top