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Near Earth Object Located, Identity?

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#1 bandhunter


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:21 AM

Don't have any experience with near earth objects or geo stationary satellites. Need some help identifying while observing at this moment. Object has been centered in eyepiece for last 20 minutes. Only the stars,background sky moves. This object has remained completely centered. It is not an illusion in the optics. Brightness has remained constant. Current Time 2:16 am. RA 6:02 Dec -05.6/7 Any help identifying object would be appreciated. Pretty exciting, viewing at 150x, watched it "travel through M42 and had to continue observations due to its "apparent slow speed". Never observed an object that consistently stays centers in eyepiece on a non tracking scope. Geo stationary? Fairly perplexed at the moment.

#2 rdandrea



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Posted 10 November 2012 - 02:50 PM

Reflection off your eyeball?

#3 bandhunter


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Posted 10 November 2012 - 04:01 PM

Definitely not, I noticed the object while i was manually tracking M42, it went from one side of the field of view to the other, and exited the field of view, due to my tracking. I abandoned M42 and was able to re center the object. The star field moved behind the object and I only had to perfectly recenter the object 3 or 4 times. For the significant portion of my observation it was stationary. I will note that in my previous post I stated that brightness remained constant, towards the end of the observation I noticed some fluctuation in brightness. I am pretty confidant this was indeed some sort of object, however I am going to use the same barlow/eyepiece combination in essentially the same star field tonight to ensure there was not some type of reflection.

#4 nytecam


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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:15 AM

Sounds like a geostationary sat for TV broadcasts etc - the Orion Neb field is a clue as from the northern hemisphere these sats [which orbit directly over the earth's equator] are viewed south of the celestial equator in an arc from east to west. You need to check the azimuth [essentially fixed!] for your observations to help identify.

#5 RedLionNJ


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Posted 22 November 2012 - 03:43 PM

Closest match for these co-ordinates (NC, date, time, RA, Dec) would appear to be AMC-6 (GE-6), NORAD # 26580U. I didn't have a specific location for you, so I used Charlotte. This was the only geostationary satellite within a degree or so of that RA/Dec at that time. Magnitude nominally around ten, but I've seen such bodies brighten and then fade again over the course of minutes.

Identification determined using Guide9.


#6 bandhunter


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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:43 AM

Thanks Grant. Glad to know what I observed. I'll have to check out Guide9.


#7 JIMZ7



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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:06 AM

About 3 summers ago I viewed maybe a 4th magnitude object in Cygnus. It took maybe 25 minutes to cross the entire 3-degree FOV of my low power eyepiece at 20x with a Apogee 90mm f/6 refractor. The object kept on moving in a irregular straight line-like a wobble but ever so slow. I found this object by sweeping the "Milky Way" in Cygnus only by luck. It moved slowy passing a star & I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. Very interesting sight!

Jim :refractor:

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