Detail on Stationary satelites?
Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:29 PM
Is it possible to see detail on a Geosyncranous satellite at high magnification? Since it should be fixed in the sky that would make tracking it easy right? I figured since it would not be moving very much it would make a good target to see if any detail could be seen.
Anyone tried this?
Posted 13 February 2013 - 11:48 PM
TAN(0.00056) * 22,000 = 0.21 miles.
See how easy it is to investigate (and answer your own) interesting questions?
Back in grade 9, when I was first introduced to trigonometry, I felt like I was given a key to the secrets of the Universe. The power to solve problems involving size, distance and angle was exciting. I immediately recognized the utility of this potent yet simple 'wizardry', and have used it continually ever since.
I only hope my enthusiasm for problem solving, and playing with numbers as a way to understand how things work, inspires others. If I come across as smug, that's not my intention at all.
Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:26 AM
You could have a (generally very dim) star for star testing that does not move in the sky:
"Typically the satellite will be in the mag. +11 to +14 range (or dimmer), but brightening by several magnitudes when the geometry is favourable (around mag. +5 to +6 is not untypical). One satellite is reported to have briefly been visible to the naked eye at mag. +3!"
Posted 14 February 2013 - 09:46 AM
Posted 14 February 2013 - 11:23 PM
Also Orbin, How would you go trying to track a normal satellite? They move so fast?
I assume you have to be really good at manual tacking or do you have a mount which can tack that fast?
Posted 15 February 2013 - 08:18 AM
Last night I saw 4 very bright satellites. The brightest one was the same magnitude as Jupiter. I also spotted one imaging spy satellite. You can identify those only later on because they won't show up on any software or published charts.
The Meade goto mount will track everything except really fast movers on a Molniya orbit. When those satellites swing by on their perigee they can cross the sky in literally a minute! They are moving much much faster than the fastest airliner you have seen at night. For those satellites I use binoculars.
The most detail I have ever seen is an antenna or solar array. When they reflect the sunlight just right the satellite looks like a silver soup can with a rectangle attached to it. Rocket bodies which are tumbling in space will strobe from dim to bright and back again. I am getting a goto for our 10" newtonian so that way I can try and get photos of these satellites in orbit. The meade 497 autostar hand controller will allow you to download satellite passes. I have several hundred of the brightest ones and some geostationary ones programmed in.
Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:27 AM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:56 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:25 PM
The iridium satellites are another easy one to spot. They will get several times brighter than Jupiter. They can even be seen after sunrise!
Posted 15 February 2013 - 05:44 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:36 PM
Posted 15 February 2013 - 11:01 PM
I guess the ISS is the artificial object that consistently shows the most detail when in a favorable position for viewing from a specific location on earth.
It has a nice combination of enormous size, relative closeness, and mountains of detail.
Posted 16 February 2013 - 07:35 AM
Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:11 AM
I've never tried for a geostationary at high power though I've seen them at star parties.
Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:43 AM