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EJN
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 11/01/05

Loc: 53 miles west of Venus
Geostationary satellite compact trio new
      #5283189 - 06/22/12 12:53 AM

I chanced upon a very compact group of 3 geostationary satellites
last night while observing Saturn in an 8" f/5 dob at 143x. Saturn
passed directly by the group, I noticed 2 "stars" which did not
move. When Saturn passed out of the field, I noticed a 3rd, fainter
one. I would estimate the 2 brighter ones at mag. 11, and the fainter
at mag. 12, they easily fit in the 1/3 degree field of view of the
eyepiece I was using. Watching stars drift through the field while
they remained motionless was almost...hypnotic.

Using Cal Sky, I identified them as XM-1, XM-2, & XM-4, of SiriusXM
radio.

As the night progressed, they slowly changed orientation with respect
to each other, doing a little "dance."

I was able to find them again tonight by setting up the scope in the
exact same spot, and using the TV antenna on the building I live in
as a reference point. At 10:16 pm, Saturn passed through the field
of view, exactly 4 minutes earlier than last night. They are repeating
the exact same "dance" as last night.

From my location, they are at alt. 34 degrees, azimuth 217 degrees.


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PaulZPA
journeyman


Reged: 04/08/12

Loc: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio new [Re: EJN]
      #5283859 - 06/22/12 01:23 PM

Interesting! I'll have to take a look for them.

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BSJ
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/22/08

Loc: Grand Isle, VT
Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio new [Re: EJN]
      #5305254 - 07/06/12 11:44 AM

I saw them too! Only it was last night, 7-6-12 at 2230. AZ 228° 31' Alt +26° 01'

It's the first geostationary satellites I've seen. Was doing the same thing, observing Saturn. I had looked away from the eye piece for a moment. When I looked again I saw a moon moving. I literally thought to myself. "That's not a moon. It's a space sta… Satellite!" Que Star Wars memories.

I also noticed the two brighter ones first, and then the dimmer one. It was really quite eerie watching them with my Dob. Kept wanting to push on it to keep them in view, but didn’t need too. They stayed centered as everything else drifted by.


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Scott in NCAdministrator
80mm Refractor Fanatic
*****

Reged: 03/05/05

Loc: NC
Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio new [Re: BSJ]
      #5307107 - 07/07/12 05:28 PM

Very cool! I've never seen any of these before (or at least if I have, I didn't realize what I was looking at).

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nytecam
Postmaster


Reged: 08/20/05

Loc: London UK
Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio new [Re: Scott in NC]
      #5311779 - 07/10/12 06:19 PM

Fair easy to pick-up with a static camera on a tripod and exposure of a few minutes at most - geosats as points of light whilst stars trail

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b1gred
Enginerd
*****

Reged: 04/01/04

Loc: Castle Rock, CO 6677' MSL
Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio new [Re: nytecam]
      #5319684 - 07/16/12 12:38 AM

Those 3 birds are in the same "box" in the geosync band. WildBlue/Viasat do that also, as do several other satellite operators. It takes some good coordination and accurate "flying" of the birds, but it's an efficiency operators love. The "box" is actually 3-dimensional about 600 miles E/W x 800 miles N/S by about 100 miles deep. The 2 in WildBlue's box do a little "figure-8" within the box daily.

It's pretty easy to find geosync satellites. Find out the elevation of the geosync band from your location, use the az/el function of your mount, but turn tracking off. Set the elevation for the band, then watch for a while, you'll start seeing "stars" that don't move with other that do behind them. The ones that don't move are the geosync birds, the ones moving are stars. There are a couple of web-sites that will give you the az/el for pretty much any geosync satellite based on your location.

Edited by b1gred (07/16/12 12:41 AM)


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ido
sage


Reged: 06/29/06

Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio new [Re: b1gred]
      #5326359 - 07/20/12 05:45 AM

See link for a geo-sat movie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWhKVN2FpZ8&feature=youtu.be&hd=1


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ssandusky
member
***

Reged: 07/20/12

Loc: Halls Lake
Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio new [Re: ido]
      #5332213 - 07/23/12 10:13 PM

I would love to show these to my kids, what's the best way to find the XM satellites and other geostationary satellites like them?
TIA!

Sarah


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: Geostationary satellite compact trio [Re: ssandusky]
      #5482387 - 10/21/12 05:34 PM

Interesting indeed. Good work correlating them!

-Rich


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