A reader made this observation: “I was looking at the NW sky when I noticed a bright silver object moving from WNW to NNE. It was moving at a slow speed so it wasn’t a satellite or a reentry vehicle. I got my binoculars and looked at it and did not see any aircraft warning lights whatsoever. I watched it for about 6 minutes. What do you think it was?”
I think he might be assuming too much. He said that it wasn’t moving very fast across the sky, and thus assumed that it couldn’t be a satellite. But even though the actual speed satellites travel is in the neighborhood of 17,000 mph, that doesn’t mean that they will appear to move across the sky that quickly… especially if it is in a higher orbit. J. Patrick described it as solid and unblinking, almost always a sure sign of a satellite, and since it was sighted about an hour before sunrise, it could stay up in the direct sunlight for quite a while before disappearing over the earth’s horizon. You could easily watch one for several minutes if you timed it right. It’s really the only logical explanation.