CASTOR Satellite Identification Service
Posted 21 February 2009 - 05:09 PM
I have seen many people who are wondering which object has passed through their fields of view for the past few months. They often wonder if what they saw was a satellite or something else.
Now, a service has been set up that will allow you to know exactly what satellite(s) you had observed! The CASTOR Satellite Identification Service will give you the ID of the satellite, its launch date, the country of origin, the satellite's range (distance) from your location and the satellite's mission.
For just $5 US per object, you will be able to know what object has passed through your eyepiece or camera's field of view!
Visit www.castor2.ca/09_ID and follow the instructions!
Posted 07 March 2009 - 10:41 PM
On or near 11 p.m. EST February 20, 2009, a Cloudy Nights member spotted an object passing slowly by Saturn. The member is located in Land O Lakes, Florida.
CASTOR identified 8 candidate satellites that passed several degrees of Saturn from 10:55 p.m. to 11:05 p.m. Using CASTOR's optical database of over 2,200 satellites, it was able to pick out the best candidate based on brightness.
A Russian SL-14 rocket body (NORAD #16594) is the best candidate for this slowly moving object. The rocket body was nearest Saturn at 10:56:00 p.m. on that date and was 1,225 miles from the observer.
CASTOR has observed a large amount of the Russian SL series rocket bodies, including SL-3, SL-4, SL-6, SL-8, SL-12, SL-14, SL-16, SL-18, SL-19 and SL-24.
Many of the other 7 candidates were pieces of debris that most likely would not have the sufficient brightness to be viewed easily.
A better verification of this candidate can be performed using the object's observed direction of travel in the observer's field of view.
This work can be done for anyone who observes a satellite in his/her field of view. Visit www.castor2.ca/09_ID and follow the directions.
Posted 12 March 2009 - 10:01 AM