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Two geostationary satellites spotted through the clouds

observing EAA dslr imaging
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#1 t_image

t_image

    Mercury-Atlas

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Posted 06 January 2019 - 03:47 PM

So keeping with my tendency to be a contrarian,

I enjoy the conjoining of seemingly contradictory occurrences:

  • We all know too well how clouds overhead at night can deter our motivation to observe (and prevent us from seeing anything).
  • We all know too well how the Moon, especially when full, can just wash out the sky and deter our observing efforts even on clear nights.
  • Often we think, because they are in orbit at a distance above the Earth of over 35,000km, that Geostationary satellites are often too faint to experience.....

Well, guess what?

(here's a share from a session I captured a while back)

  1. The Full Moon was less than 11 arc degrees away in the sky.
  2. There were mostly clouds with a few breaks.
  3. You can see two Geostationary satellites (one directly center) clearly visible even through the clouds as they rapid blow by.

The video (link below) is recorded real time (not a timelapse), the stars are being tracked by a mount, and the slow drift of the satellites (compared against the stars) can be just detected because the field of view is around 2.5 degrees *500mm FL f/4 lens.

 

Of course my gear is giving some intensifying assist (Sony a7s),

and the brightest stars in the narrow field are mag. around 7, and 8......

There maybe a little flare event happening with the sats since many geosats are often rather faint (mag. 10+)........

 

Other than an unexpected occurrence,

maybe you might consider that there may be some benefit in trying to observe even in sky conditions that might not be ideal.

 

You'll need to watch in 1080hd fullscreen and on a computer screen to resolve the trailing sat.

 

https://www.youtube....?v=cUXXRSfIMu8

 

Cheers!


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