RE: Violet Satellite Appearance

From: Chris Zietkiewicz (
Date: Tue Aug 10 2010 - 10:11:49 UTC

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    Russell, thank you for identifying the star field so quickly; an
    extraordinary skill.
    Tony, thank you for giving my observation a look.  I brought up the
    red/orange matter just to note that satellite appearance had previously been
    an area of discussion on SeeSat and I thought others might be interested to
    hear about a violet observation.  Your analysis fits the observation in
    every detail.  I am not sure how I missed SPOT 5?  Regarding the solar
    panels, I will make some additional observations to verify if the violet
    coloring is typical or atypical for this satellite.
    Jim, thank you for confirming the ID.  Interesting that you note a 4.2
    brightness but when I run HA this morning I get 3.2.  Over the last few
    weeks I have noted large discrepancies between HA predicted brightness and
    actual observed brightness (a separate matter).  Your research supports
    Tony's conclusions, it would appear that the solar panels reflect short
    wavelength light possibly to minimize heating without significantly reducing
    Thank you to everyone who looked at my images and for the contributions that
    explained my observation.
    Best regards,
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Tony Beresford [] 
    Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 3:20 AM
    To: Chris Zietkiewicz
    Subject: Re: Violet Satellite Appearance
    At 03:05 PM 10/08/2010, you wrote:
    >On Sunday evening I observed a violet appearing satellite.  A portion of
    >track was captured with a DSLR and can be seen here.
    Chris, using the coords given by Russel,
    The only candidate is the European Earth Observation Satellite
    SPOT 5  Number 27421 , International ID 2002 21A
    A plot of this object among the stars for your location
    can be seen by this link
    This is not the any of Red/orange satellites reported on seesat.
    These are usually one of the lacrosse series of radar satellites or
    the ISS observed when the sun-satellite observer passes through
    the ISS solar panels.
    Tony Beresford
    Adelaide South Australia
    Satellite Observer
    Seesat-l mailing list

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