RE: orion satellite track

Randy John (rjohn@Riem.Com)
Tue, 21 Sep 1999 16:07:00 -0700

I think it is clear that the four tracks are GEO sats.  March
7 is prime time for GEO observing.  In fact I'm surprised
that we haven't seen more of this kind of photo before (GEO's
in M42).

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 1999 9:54 AM
Subject: orion satellite track

 Hi all -
 I checked that "SAT TRACK PHOTO" in the October Sky & Telescope
that folks have been talking about here recently.  What impressed
me is how odd it seemed that there would be 4 tracks, exactly
parallel and only a few arc seconds apart, that happened to pass
exactly through the location of Theta Orionis - the Trapezium, a
quadruple star.  And intersecting that at exactly a right angle
are two more precisely parallel tracks that also pass directly in
front of the Trapezium!  I submit, folks, that these "tracks" are
most likely a diffraction pattern of the Trapezium caused by some
structure in the optical system of the telescope.  The caption
states that the telescope in question is a refractor, so I don't
know what would be causing this diffraction.  If it were a
newtonian reflector, the diagonal mount would be the obvious
culprit.  Anyway, that's my guess as to which satellites these
 cheers, Rich Keen, in Colorado, USA