Naked Eye GEO 20110702 (and 20110705)

From: Bill (
Date: Tue Jul 05 2011 - 19:33:16 UTC

  • Next message: Allen Thomson: "Re: Naked Eye GEO 20110702 (and 20110705)"

    First let me apologize for a major DOH moment, by sending the original message 
    in rich text.  It has been a while since I posted and I simply forgot, my 
    Thank you Kevin and Ted, let me be a bit more specific, I'm sorry I had data 
    flying all over the place and I can picture you pros just cringing as you read 
    through my post ;-)
    The observation location with my scope (I'll start there) was the coordinates I 
    gave, precisely, which were:
    41.85388170066449 N (a little more precise this time)
    -79.95695918798447 W.
    around 1000 feet ASL.
    Googleing that will put you within 5 feet of where my scope was set up.
    Begin Date/time in UTC was 20110702-035000
    End Date/Time was 20110702-041000
    Also, I used Stellarium prior to sending my original post to record the 
    approximate Alt/Az just in case that would have helped.  Which was Alt/Az Alt 
    34* 10' 09"  Az 138* 34' 08"
    At the Begin date/time at the above location the GEO began near 26 Aquilae and 
    by the end time it had "moved" to 42 Aquilae.  All that time was visible naked 
    eye, beginning at 2nd magnitude, slowly fading.  I watched it in my 24" for 
    quite some time, not noting any positions, just watching it because I've only 
    ever been on a handful in my scope, and I do very much enjoy watching them (the 
    tracking is fairly easy ;-)
    Margin of error, fairly small.  Times are right on, although we didn't really 
    click a timer when we stopped watching it in my scope.
    Positions near those two stars are very accurate, although it wouldn't surprise 
    me if it was off a little.  We used those two "bright" stars as markers which we 
    reported en masse to the astronomy club in our observing report, so those fit 
    nicely just to give the members a good idea where we're talking about, and where 
    to check on subsequent nights.  May have gone above or below either/both in 
    reality.  We aren't used to recording the exact positions/timing on things, 
    although the club pres is HIGHLY, highly accurate in regards to magnitude.  And 
    the fact that he noticed a "star" that shouldn't have been there.  He is 
    But I digress...
    And in his report this morning he says 
    "It was out there again tonight (I was just naked-eye at my  home)...5 minutes 
    later at 11:58 pm and farther east of V Aquilae, like 5 or 6  degrees, and only 
    3rd magnitude tonight... (I know, it's the night sky moving  westward at the 
    same time, not the geo satellite)....  but not as bright,  probably because the 
    sun angle is slowly changing."
    Location here would be:
    42.07623894295552 N
    -80.069979429245 W
    approx 700 Feet ASL.
    Begin Date/Times UTC would be 20110705-035800
    (no end time listed)
    This one is not as critical or precise, just further data to back up the 
    satellite in question if you like doing this sort of thing :-)
    I was just so excited to see a GEO naked eye after all this time.  Thanks to you 
    guys and this wonderful resource to allow me to even have a clue as to what was 
    really going on up there at 22,000 miles :-)
    Also, what software do you all use to locate the satellites?  I would love to be 
    able to do this myself.
    Bill, to make a confident ID, we need the coordinates of the observation site, 
    the date/time of the observation (UTC preferred), and the position of the 
    object. An estimate of the precision of the data also would be helpful. The more 
    precise the observation, the more confident the ID. Your report contains many of 
    these elements, but I am not certain which ones go together.
    Ted Molczan
    Bill Mitchell
    "It is often better to keep one's mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it 
    and remove all doubt"
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