M101 and a Tumbling Satellite?
Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:49 PM
Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:43 PM
Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:02 AM
(Gorgeous image despite the interloper. )
Posted 04 February 2013 - 03:55 AM
Posted 04 February 2013 - 05:19 PM
Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:16 PM
Don't know what it is, but it looks pretty cool. It is shocking sometimes to be viewing and have a satellite (or worse, a jet plane) flash through the FOV. Can't believe you had time to catch it.
Posted 04 February 2013 - 06:23 PM
Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:02 PM
Thanks and my apologies for tripping over the zones and such.
Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:04 PM
Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:41 PM
Ill see if I can turn up a license plate on the passing UFO.
Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:27 PM
If it is a second stage, its almost always still in the plane of the launch point simply due to efficient use of the launch vehicle.
Sometimes you can infer an angular rate (given exposure) - this helps when coupled with the inclination. Spy and Russian communications sats inject into a "Molniya" orbit, which is a highly eccentric ellipse in a highly inclined orbit, done to maximize utilization over a land area of high latitude. I've often found them (and third/PAM stages) when hunting circumpolar galaxies.
LEO constellations and polar orbit sats are completely different kettle of fish (and far more common). I find them more often at more equatorial targets, and there are some geosynch sats that stand out surprisingly well near very common equatorial targets.
My bet is you witnessed a Russian military comm sat 2nd or 3rd stage. Much harder to see the sat itself. There have been some launches lately as they are upgrading/replacing.
But to prove it you'll need to discover the orbital track first, and puzzle out how it could have gotten from one of the launch sites into that orbit. Since upper stages don't usually last on orbit more than hours, its not many orbits before a burn, and its the last stage that handles multiple burns necessary for final injection. Oh, and not everyone does deorbit burns, but final injection often means a very short lived stage.
Hope this helps.
Posted 06 February 2013 - 10:24 PM
I'm going to guess this is infact quite short lived as it doesn't seem to fit with anything I've come up with. But you seem to have it down so much better too.