Re: Violet Satellite Appearance

From: Ralf Vandebergh (
Date: Tue Aug 10 2010 - 10:59:35 UTC

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    Spot 5 shows indeed obvious violet color and especially binoculars and rich
    field telescopes
    show the color greatly. I captured some telescopic images some time ago but
    they were
    not very successfull due to an unfavorable pass, causing the object to small
    to see fine
    detail. Will try in another occasion.
    Best wishes,
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Chris Zietkiewicz" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Tuesday, August 10, 2010 12:11 PM
    Subject: RE: Violet Satellite Appearance
    > 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
    > an area of discussion on SeeSat and I thought others might be interested
    > 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
    > efficiency.
    > Thank you to everyone who looked at my images and for the contributions
    > explained my observation.
    > Best regards,
    > Chris
    > -----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
    > the
    > >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
    > =za&alt=6440&tz=MST&satid=27421&date=40399.2177310995
    > 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
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