Wed, 29 Sep 1999 23:46:32 -0400

I got this from Sky & Telescope. I also heard from the photographer,
Conrad, and will post the pictures on my site soon.

> Jay,
> Thanks for the thread -- I now understand where some of the material
> that crossed my desk came from. I could have stopped a lot of this
> debate because, unlike some of the people making speculation, I had all
> the data in front of me.  Conrad was testing equipment, and he made
> something like 6 back-to-back shots of the nebula -- only this one has
> the satellites. Rule out "instrumental effects," (especially since
> refractors don't produce diffraction spikes, and any equipment that did
> would put them on all bright stars!). Below is a copy of a message I
> sent to two colleagues, one of whom was skeptical about the picture from
> the outset.
> Here's the text of that message...
> Guys,
> Before this gets out of hand you should come by my office and see the
> photos that Conrad sent. There's a whole sequence of Orion (he was
> testing equipment). I have all the details from him, so I have no idea
> where Dale comes up with the idea that the photographer won't respond to
> anyone. Conrad did not record the time precisely since these were only
> intended as test shots. He does, however, have the date, location and a
> rough time of each shot. Only one shows the satellites. The four objects
> going east/west are almost certainly geosyncs -- from this latitude they
> appear to pass right through the nebula. The polar ones are what make
> this unusual. I'm not much of a satellite watcher myself, but even I
> have seen objects moving in pairs, so it isn't the issue of having two
> that's unusual, only that they passed right through the nebula. BTW,
> drop the "diffraction" theory -- 1) this doesn't look like classic
> diffraction, 2) it was a refractor, and 3) it doesn't show on the same
> images shot just before and after this one!
> --D
> So, Jay, I'm still interested in what anyone can do in the way of
> identifying these objects.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------

Jay Respler
   Satellite Tracker * Early Typewriter Collector
           Freehold, New Jersey