Lunar Transit

Bruno Tilgner (
Wed, 29 Jul 1998 17:36:17 -0400

On 26 July Steve Massey wrote:

>The object appeared disc like against the gibbous moon and took
>about 1 second to pass through my field of view. I've seen plenty
>of birds transit the moon and this was definately no bird. It moved
>very straight and mechanically through the field and I estimate its
>total lunar transit time at around 13 sec.

I don't think you saw a satellite, for two reasons:

1. The transit time was far too long. No satellite in low earth
orbit takes 13 seconds to move the 30 arcminutes of the lunar
disk, not even near the horizon.

2. It is unlikely that you would have seen a satellite with a video
camera, although the extremely small field of view (1/13 of 30
arcmin =3D 2.3 arcmin) implies that you have used a very high
magnification, in fact much higher than possible with ordinary

Bruno Tilgner
Paris, France