RE: Introduction and some questions

From: Ted Molczan (seesat@rogers.com)
Date: Mon Aug 08 2005 - 20:56:20 EDT

  • Next message: Paul Sventek: "TiPS"

    Welcome to SeeSat-L, Daniel,
    
    > Tonight I saw three satellites and three meteors in the 10 
    > minutes I went out to view.  I realize that's probably not 
    > normal for naked-eye viewing, but wow!
    
    Three satellites in 10 minutes is about what you can expect in a clear, dark
    sky, not too long after twilight.
    
    > On Aug 6 approx. 09:24 UTC I saw what seemed to me to be a 
    > satellite decay starting approx. overhead and arcing to the 
    > horizon almost due south.  Anyone know if there was a decay 
    > then?
    
    Not according to Space Track, which provides official notification of decays
    issued by USSTRATCOM (you need to subscribe in order to access this page):
    
    http://www.space-track.org/perl/new_decay.pl
    
    > I'm fairly new at this, so I'm not really sure the 
    > difference between a satellite decay and a meteor.  This was 
    > much, much slower than the meteors I usually see, and it had 
    > a long tail with orange sparkles.  Absolutely beautiful.
    
    Decaying satellites are discernible from slow meteors by angular velocity. A
    decaying satellite would take roughly 90 seconds to cross from 10 deg elevation
    on one side of the sky to 10 deg on the other side. Even the slowest meteor
    would take only a few seconds to cover the same arc.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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