Re: Geo sat eclipse season

From: Robert McNaught via Seesat-l <>
Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2022 10:38:29 +0000
"The Astronomer" magazine index has nothing about the geo sat from 
~1984. Most probably I put the note in the newsletter of the Uni of 
Aston, Earth Satellite Research Unit, for whom I worked as an observer 
at the time. I no longer have copies of the newsletters, but some 
readers probably do.

The details of the geo sat last year was easier to find as I wrote a 
note for our local astronomical society about it, and geo sat flares in 
general, the following day. The flare I saw was on 2021 Sep 09UT. My 
note included:

"Last night I noticed a mag +3 "nova" in Aquila with the naked-eye - 
approximately the same brightness as del Aql. My all-sky images clearly 
show it was a geostationary satellite undergoing a flare. It isn't clear 
which satellite it was, as two are within arcmins of each other in that 

Apstar 6C  2018-41A NORAD 43450
Apstar 6D  2020-45A  NORAD 45863"

I guess it could have been some uncatalogued object though.

Cheers, Rob

On 1/03/2022 10:14, Robert McNaught via Seesat-l wrote:
> Off hand, I can't be very helpful with details, but I have seen geo 
> sats with the naked-eye on several occasions. Once noticed and 
> followed they were later ID'd. First time was around 1984 and it 
> wouldn't surprise me that Russell Eberst ID'd that one for me. I think 
> there is a note in The Astronomer magazine about it in the following 
> month. Most recently, I saw one with the naked-eye last year and could 
> ID it from photographs. At some point, I'll look out the details, but 
> I believe these were in the range of mag +3 to +5.
> Cheers, Rob
> On 1/03/2022 10:05, Alex D. via Seesat-l wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I sometimes see reports of binocular sightings of geo sats. But what I'm
>> missing in many of those reports is the /type/ of binocular used, and 
>> the
>> environment in which those obs were made.
>> We all know that large binoculars might perform better than smaller 
>> ones,
>> but omitting the type (with the basic parameters 'magnification x
>> objective') makes it difficult to get a grip of how probable it is to 
>> see
>> something. It's easy to ... boast that one can see sats with a pair of
>> binoculars, but to me it is cheating by not mentioning the fact that 
>> these
>> might e.g. be huge bino's supported by parallelograms, sighted from some
>> desert far away from all light pollution. Just to make clear that this
>> group deserves more accurate reportings. (A similar issue has to do with
>> time reports, that should always be done in UTC time, because this is a
>> global group).
>> For example, tells of different
>> quite interesting binocular observations, which gives the impression 
>> that
>> having (any kind of...) binoculars would suffice to see geo sats. Which
>> obviously won't be possible. [2] [3] give good hints.
>> Therefore, IMHO this community should understand that mentioning the
>> crucial numbers that go with binocular observations are important,
>> otherwise many people will be disappointed when they grab their little
>> binoculars. It would also benefit a report when giving an impression 
>> of the
>> Bortle class of the environment; this would raise the value of the
>> observation. It increases the scientific approach that this community is
>> capable of following.
>> Personally I have good quality 7x50 binoculars and am interested in 
>> using
>> those to see this phenomenon (but haven't seen it yet). I have been
>> observing this phenomenon with a Meade LX-200 telescope (for details, 
>> see
>> [1], unfortunately not quite scientific because posted on Facebook, 
>> forgive
>> meif you might not be able to access the pictures.)
>> rgds
>> -alex-
>> Stargazing in Gent <>
>> [1]
>> [2]
>> [3]
>> On Sun, Feb 27, 2022 at 11:40 AM Kevin Fetter via Seesat-l <
>>> wrote:
>>> Geo sat eclipse season begins.
>>> When to look around, for flares for your latitude.
>>> <
>>> l
>>> Enjoy the show,
>>> Kevin
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Received on Tue Mar 01 2022 - 04:39:29 UTC

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