NOSS formations

From: Jim Blackhurst (
Date: Sat Jul 24 2010 - 14:51:07 UTC

  • Next message: Leo Wikholm: "Re: NOSS formations"

    Hi Guys.
    Over the next few months, as the nights get a bit darker I'm hoping to get
    some sightings of NOSS pairs and triplets.  I've been doing some research
    and trying to find out which of the NOSS satellites are still in formation,
    but I'm not sure I've got the full picture.  I started by looking for posts
    on Seesat-L, but I find searching for content difficult (do you use google
    site search on the archive?).  The Seesat page on NOSS suggests that there
    is a surviving triplet from the NOSS 1 generation, and one from the NOSS 2
    generation, but I don't know how old this information is.
    I've listed the NOSS satellites that are in orbit (and known to be grouped)
    and run a search on each one on Heavens Above.
     By choosing and arbitrary date (tonight!) and looking for the time of max
    altitude for each satellite of each group, I've tried to determine if they
    are still in formation or not. I've compiled a small (google docs)
    spreadsheet with this data here:
    >From this I can't see any triplets still in formation, although it looks
    like quite a few of the doubles are still quite tight.  Does anyone know if
    this is accurate, are there any triplets still in tight formation?  I saw a
    triplet about 2 years ago, but that was a random chance.  Does anyone know
    of a site where I can get current data on the state of the formations?
    On a related note, I'm also keen on seeing other satellite formations,
    although the NOSS groups are famous for their closeness, are their any other
    less well known (but still naked-eye) satellites groups in formation?  I
    understand that Iridiums sometimes have a spare in close proximity to a live
    sat, and can be the cause of dual iridium flares.  Is there any system
    for predicting these dual flares?
    Thanks for your time with this, should I have anything of value in my
    observations, I'd love to give them back to the community.
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