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Caught a Geostationary Satellite while imaging Orion the other night.

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#1 nighthoek

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:26 AM

This is from a series of thirty 10 second exposures.  I was trying to figure out what the dashed line was in the stacked image, a friend suggested it's a geosynchronous satellite.  See the dashed line, that's the satellite.

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  • 10 second stack reduced.jpg

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#2 NucleusPhoto

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:49 AM

If it were geosynchronous, Woudldn't it stay absolutely still? And other satellites (starlinks or whatever, move faster than this I'm fairly certain). Don't get me wrong it most likely is some sort of satellite but.. I have no idea what kind.

#3 B 26354

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:52 AM

"Geosynchronous" satellites are essentially "stationary", relative to your position on Earth.

 

Probably just one of the ten-zillion other ones that are out there:

 

http://stuffin.space/


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#4 Taosmath

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:54 AM

If it were geosynchronous, Woudldn't it stay absolutely still? And other satellites (starlinks or whatever, move faster than this I'm fairly certain). Don't get me wrong it most likely is some sort of satellite but.. I have no idea what kind.

No I don't think so.

 

Geosynchronous stays stationary with respect to the Earth, not to with respect to the stars.  Hence a Geosynchronous satellite will move with respect to the stars at 1 degree every 4 minutes.


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#5 NucleusPhoto

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 10:59 AM

You are absolutely right, so the question is.. Were the images tracked? I mean, they have to be tracked for the satellite to draw a line then right?

#6 SarverSkyGuy

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 11:12 AM

Yes, if you track the stars the geo satellite will 'draw a line'.  If you stop the star tracking the satellite will be a point but the stars will draw lines.

 

BTW: If you use a little trigonometry you can calculate the observed declination of Geo's based on your latitude, and the 22,000 mile Geo orbits.



#7 B 26354

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 11:23 AM

No I don't think so.

 

Geosynchronous stays stationary with respect to the Earth, not to with respect to the stars.  Hence a Geosynchronous satellite will move with respect to the stars at 1 degree every 4 minutes.

Thanks for that clarification. Not enough morning coffee yet. blush.gif

 

His exposure-stack is a five-minute duration. So considering the apparent FOV... his satellite does seem to fit the requirements for geo-synchronicity, after all!

 

biggrin.png



#8 *skyguy*

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 11:29 AM

This is from a series of thirty 10 second exposures.  I was trying to figure out what the dashed line was in the stacked image, a friend suggested it's a geosynchronous satellite.  See the dashed line, that's the satellite.

If you post the date, time and location where the image was taken, the identity of the satellite can be determined.

 

BTW, the satellite is tumbling as evident from its brightening and dimming along its track.


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#9 nighthoek

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 04:26 PM

The images were taken just after 8pm Eastern on 3/2.  From Livingston NJ.   



#10 Benschop

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Posted 04 March 2021 - 06:37 PM

Geosynch sats often appear to be dashed in the final stack. Why? Because the camera was downloading data in between integrations... the download times are the gaps in the line.


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#11 *skyguy*

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Posted 05 March 2021 - 08:20 AM

It looks like NIMIQ 6 (38342) is a perfect match for the unknown satellite track on your image. It's a geostationary, communication satellite. Also, the large increase in brightness would indicate it was imaged during a "flare", making it the only satellite visible in the FOV.  Nice catch!

 

GeoSat.jpg


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