As the mod in the TNG
forum, I actually like it when someone resurrects an old thread and adds substantively to it. I get the impression that Yanks
read most, if not all of the thread before posting. As an aside, I share his (?) enthusiasm for the episode as one of the best of ENT and a top 20 of all Trek for me.
As someone who was 11 and a science junkie when Sputnik went up, I clearly recall that it was not visible to the naked eye, only through powerful binoculars or a telescope. I only had a cheap pair of binoculars and lived in urban Louisville so seeing it was out of the question.