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I saw something!



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 6th 07, 12:24 PM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
galwacco
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Posts: 22
Default I saw something!

Hey Folks!

I got a question! I live in southern Brazil, declination 27. As I was
driving to work, I looked at the sky and I saw an object of aparent
magnitude of 3 bouncing to 2, it was no star , for it was 7:55am,
which in this season, is broad daylight already, and its magnitude
kept changing, I believe, because of its movement that reflect the sun
differently.

The object was moving quite fast at my zenith towards northwest, when
I called my wife's atention to look at it, it was gone.

The thing is, I've seen quite a few satelites already, and they move
waaaay too fast, this object too almost 20 seconds to disapear from my
sight.

My question is, is it possible to see our satelites or the ISS on
broad day light? If not, what exactly would that be?

Ads
  #2  
Old July 6th 07, 04:19 PM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
William R Thompson
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Posts: 8
Default I saw something!

"galwacco" wrote:

My question is, is it possible to see our satelites or the ISS on
broad day light? If not, what exactly would that be?


It sounds like you saw an Iridium flare. Some of then are
bright enough to see in the daytime. Heavens-above.com
can give you a list of times and locations, if you log onto
that page.

--Bill Thompson


  #3  
Old July 6th 07, 05:49 PM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
galwacco
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default I saw something!

On Jul 6, 12:19 pm, "William R Thompson"
wrote:
"galwacco" wrote:
My question is, is it possible to see our satelites or the ISS on
broad day light? If not, what exactly would that be?


It sounds like you saw an Iridium flare. Some of then are
bright enough to see in the daytime. Heavens-above.com
can give you a list of times and locations, if you log onto
that page.

--Bill Thompson


Hmmmm! I take that!! COOOL!! Thank you Bill!!

  #4  
Old July 10th 07, 03:49 AM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
DougD
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default I saw something!

In article .com, galwacco wrote:
Hey Folks!

I got a question! I live in southern Brazil, declination 27. As I was
driving to work, I looked at the sky and I saw an object of aparent
magnitude of 3 bouncing to 2, it was no star , for it was 7:55am,
which in this season, is broad daylight already, and its magnitude
kept changing, I believe, because of its movement that reflect the sun
differently.

The object was moving quite fast at my zenith towards northwest, when
I called my wife's atention to look at it, it was gone.

The thing is, I've seen quite a few satelites already, and they move
waaaay too fast, this object too almost 20 seconds to disapear from my
sight.

My question is, is it possible to see our satelites or the ISS on
broad day light? If not, what exactly would that be?


I would say that it was probably an Iridium flare. The timing sounds about
right, and they can be seen in daylight. Heaven's Above web sight is great
for tracking and spotting these sats. If you can get your hands on a GPS,
you can get a customized projection that looks ahead for months, for both
daylight and evening. Because they depend on sunlight, they are typically
brightest after sunset and before dawn. The brightest magnitude for these
is -9, I've only seen what has been predicted as a -9 a few times, but
anything from about -4 to -8 can be pretty spectacular at night. They are
also fairly senstive to your position, so using the prediction software and
sticking to one observing area works best. Their software also allows you to
save multiple sighting area's, so you can have one for work, home, one
for a friend on the other side of the world, etc. I turned into an "Iridium
Junkie" about 8 years ago, and I've got about 12 friends out now bitten
by the same bug. It's kinda fun to know exactly when one will be overhead
and grab some friends or neighbors and tell them to follow your hand
across the sky, and when the sat flares, well, it can sure lead to a lot of
interesting questions!
Good luck, I hope you continue to enjoy them and get a chance to
at least see one in darkness, they can be very impressive!

D.
  #5  
Old July 10th 07, 04:50 AM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
Skywise
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Posts: 318
Default I saw something!

Doug? Didn't I just see you somewhere else on usenet?

"Small world syndrome"

Brian
--
http://www.skywise711.com - Lasers, Seismology, Astronomy, Skepticism
Seismic FAQ: http://www.skywise711.com/SeismicFAQ/SeismicFAQ.html
Quake "predictions": http://www.skywise711.com/quakes/EQDB/index.html
Sed quis custodiet ipsos Custodes?
  #6  
Old July 10th 07, 07:58 AM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
DougD
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default I saw something!

In article , Skywise wrote:
Doug? Didn't I just see you somewhere else on usenet?

"Small world syndrome"

Brian


Hey, what can I say?! Lasers, Iridiums, it's all kinda lumped together...
Actually, I got started in the Iridium stuff when my biz partner in LA
got the contract for the worldwide Iridium "road show", and I helped
him out on some of the lighting, etc. After spotting my first one about
5 years ago, I've been bitten. I've even got about 20-30 different dig.
video clips of flares that I shot both here in Canada and from where
I was living in Mpls. Now that takes some dedication, as well as
some humilty for being seen pointing a video camera at nothing
in the sky and then trying to get my kids to watch.. Now they're turning
into "bugs"...
Sooooo, what's your excuse!?!!!

d.




  #7  
Old July 10th 07, 12:26 PM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
galwacco
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default I saw something!

On Jul 9, 11:49 pm, (DougD) wrote:
In article .com, galwacco wrote:





Hey Folks!


I got a question! I live in southern Brazil, declination 27. As I was
driving to work, I looked at the sky and I saw an object of aparent
magnitude of 3 bouncing to 2, it was no star , for it was 7:55am,
which in this season, is broad daylight already, and its magnitude
kept changing, I believe, because of its movement that reflect the sun
differently.


The object was moving quite fast at my zenith towards northwest, when
I called my wife's atention to look at it, it was gone.


The thing is, I've seen quite a few satelites already, and they move
waaaay too fast, this object too almost 20 seconds to disapear from my
sight.


My question is, is it possible to see our satelites or the ISS on
broad day light? If not, what exactly would that be?


I would say that it was probably an Iridium flare. The timing sounds about
right, and they can be seen in daylight. Heaven's Above web sight is great
for tracking and spotting these sats. If you can get your hands on a GPS,
you can get a customized projection that looks ahead for months, for both
daylight and evening. Because they depend on sunlight, they are typically
brightest after sunset and before dawn. The brightest magnitude for these
is -9, I've only seen what has been predicted as a -9 a few times, but
anything from about -4 to -8 can be pretty spectacular at night. They are
also fairly senstive to your position, so using the prediction software and
sticking to one observing area works best. Their software also allows you to
save multiple sighting area's, so you can have one for work, home, one
for a friend on the other side of the world, etc. I turned into an "Iridium
Junkie" about 8 years ago, and I've got about 12 friends out now bitten
by the same bug. It's kinda fun to know exactly when one will be overhead
and grab some friends or neighbors and tell them to follow your hand
across the sky, and when the sat flares, well, it can sure lead to a lot of
interesting questions!
Good luck, I hope you continue to enjoy them and get a chance to
at least see one in darkness, they can be very impressive!

D.- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


Very cool Doug!! I had no idea about those things! That one I reported
was my very first one and I thought it was soooo cool!
A couple of weeks ago, my 2 years old son tripped and feel on the
ground of our backyard, I went to see what happened and he was crying
a lot. Then as an atempt to make him stop crying, I pointed to the
moon, which was a full moon and told him to look at it.
Right at that very moment I saw a satelite passing by, it was also the
first time I'd seen one. Man, it was just awesome!!

It passed by really fast, and kind of drew a line path as it passed.
Since I bought my telescope, I started to look more at the sky, and
that is giving me more opportunities to glance cool things such as
iridium flares and satelites.

I downloaded this software called orbitron, which is supposed to give
me the exact time a determinate satelite is passing over where I am
situated, would you have any other software like that to indicate me?
Or, is that one I downloaded a good one?

So far I didn't have an opportunity to see anything, since it's rain
season and the sky is most of the nights covered up with clouds.

Thanks a lot folks!

  #8  
Old July 10th 07, 07:36 PM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
DougD
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default I saw something!

In article . com, galwacco wrote:


I downloaded this software called orbitron, which is supposed to give
me the exact time a determinate satelite is passing over where I am
situated, would you have any other software like that to indicate me?
Or, is that one I downloaded a good one?

So far I didn't have an opportunity to see anything, since it's rain
season and the sky is most of the nights covered up with clouds.

Thanks a lot folks!


You're very welcome! I'm not familiar with orbitron, I just use the
Heaven's Above website:
http://www.heavens-above.com/
It's free, you just need to register and also find your earth coord.
to get the predictions. They do have look up tables on the site, but
the best results are if you can get a GPS and do a reading from your
location (altitude also figures into this as well). A fairly good way to
get this is using Google Earth. You can get your lat, lon, and altitude
from just zooming in on your location and then cutting and pasting from
the software.
I also use Starry Night Pro, which is kinda pricey astro software,
mine is kinda an older version, and I think there are less expensive versions
than the Pro. It's great software if you own a telescope, and it has tons of
features that make life a lot easier if you're trying to spot sat's. I use the
"find" function, and just type in "Iridium" as a search term and it will list
all of the sats, and highlight the ones that will be observable from your
location. You can then tag which ever ones that match up with the
Heaven's Above predictions, and it will draw in the sat. path across
the sky for your location and track it's motion in real time, or you can
fast forward, etc. to get a preview of where to be looking, etc. It also
gives out magnitude (brightness) data in real time, but it doesn't track
with Heaven's Above, HA's has always been more accurate as far as
predictions of magnitude. I usually go into HA about every two weeks
and grab a couple of weeks Iridium predictions for my location. I cut
and paste them into a desktop file, and then I go through and cut out
anything that is less then -4 in magnitude, it ends up looking something
like this:

date Time Mag Alt. Azimuth Dist. to Flare Mag2 Sat.
10 Jul 04:48:18 -4 12 67 (ENE) 48.1 km (W) -5 Iridium 55

So this is the base HA prediction's that you get. There's the date, the
time in your location that it's rising above the horizon. The altitude where
it will flare, the azimuth, or basically the compass heading of it's origin.
The distance to flare is kinda important, it tells you how far away from
the absolute center of the reflected light you are. The mag2 is the
absolute brightest mag. that the sat. will reflect, the first mag. is the
reduced mag. due to your observing spot being not directly under
the spot of reflection. So, you might see a mag2 of -8, but the mag for
your location may only be -4 because you're 80km away from the
point on earth where the most light is bounced back from the sattelite.
There's a much better explanation of all this on the HA web site, plus
they track more than just the Iridiums, they also track the Int. Space
Station, as well as the Space Shuttle when it's up, next one I think is
going up the first week or so of August. They're fun to look at as well,
when the two are docked together, with even binoculars, you can make
out two seperate objects going across the sky together. There are also
some real oddbal sats, I've seen one which was actually a group of 3
satellites that I believe were tethered together, ( I think), but if really
spooked me the first time I saw this triangle of lights moving together
across the sky, I thought I had seen my first UFO!!
Anyway, sign up for HA, it's worth it if you really want to track satellites,
and it's free!
Good luck, great viewing!!

d.


  #9  
Old July 11th 07, 12:34 PM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
galwacco
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 22
Default I saw something!

On Jul 10, 3:36 pm, (DougD) wrote:
In article . com, galwacco wrote:



I downloaded this software called orbitron, which is supposed to give
me the exact time a determinate satelite is passing over where I am
situated, would you have any other software like that to indicate me?
Or, is that one I downloaded a good one?


So far I didn't have an opportunity to see anything, since it's rain
season and the sky is most of the nights covered up with clouds.


Thanks a lot folks!


You're very welcome! I'm not familiar with orbitron, I just use the
Heaven's Above website:http://www.heavens-above.com/
It's free, you just need to register and also find your earth coord.
to get the predictions. They do have look up tables on the site, but
the best results are if you can get a GPS and do a reading from your
location (altitude also figures into this as well). A fairly good way to
get this is using Google Earth. You can get your lat, lon, and altitude
from just zooming in on your location and then cutting and pasting from
the software.
I also use Starry Night Pro, which is kinda pricey astro software,
mine is kinda an older version, and I think there are less expensive versions
than the Pro. It's great software if you own a telescope, and it has tons of
features that make life a lot easier if you're trying to spot sat's. I use the
"find" function, and just type in "Iridium" as a search term and it will list
all of the sats, and highlight the ones that will be observable from your
location. You can then tag which ever ones that match up with the
Heaven's Above predictions, and it will draw in the sat. path across
the sky for your location and track it's motion in real time, or you can
fast forward, etc. to get a preview of where to be looking, etc. It also
gives out magnitude (brightness) data in real time, but it doesn't track
with Heaven's Above, HA's has always been more accurate as far as
predictions of magnitude. I usually go into HA about every two weeks
and grab a couple of weeks Iridium predictions for my location. I cut
and paste them into a desktop file, and then I go through and cut out
anything that is less then -4 in magnitude, it ends up looking something
like this:

date Time Mag Alt. Azimuth Dist. to Flare Mag2 Sat.
10 Jul 04:48:18 -4 12 67 (ENE) 48.1 km (W) -5 Iridium 55

So this is the base HA prediction's that you get. There's the date, the
time in your location that it's rising above the horizon. The altitude where
it will flare, the azimuth, or basically the compass heading of it's origin.
The distance to flare is kinda important, it tells you how far away from
the absolute center of the reflected light you are. The mag2 is the
absolute brightest mag. that the sat. will reflect, the first mag. is the
reduced mag. due to your observing spot being not directly under
the spot of reflection. So, you might see a mag2 of -8, but the mag for
your location may only be -4 because you're 80km away from the
point on earth where the most light is bounced back from the sattelite.
There's a much better explanation of all this on the HA web site, plus
they track more than just the Iridiums, they also track the Int. Space
Station, as well as the Space Shuttle when it's up, next one I think is
going up the first week or so of August. They're fun to look at as well,
when the two are docked together, with even binoculars, you can make
out two seperate objects going across the sky together. There are also
some real oddbal sats, I've seen one which was actually a group of 3
satellites that I believe were tethered together, ( I think), but if really
spooked me the first time I saw this triangle of lights moving together
across the sky, I thought I had seen my first UFO!!
Anyway, sign up for HA, it's worth it if you really want to track satellites,
and it's free!
Good luck, great viewing!!

d.


WOW Doug!! What a lesson!
I've done what you told me! Printed a whole bunch of flares, like I
said the weather is pretty bad in here, but it seems that it will
clean up for the weekend.
I can't wait to do some spottings! Hey! I think I've been beaten by
the bug!!

  #10  
Old July 11th 07, 04:14 PM posted to sci.astro.satellites.visual-observe
DougD
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 19
Default I saw something!

In article . com, galwacco wrote:

WOW Doug!! What a lesson!
I've done what you told me! Printed a whole bunch of flares, like I
said the weather is pretty bad in here, but it seems that it will
clean up for the weekend.
I can't wait to do some spottings! Hey! I think I've been beaten by
the bug!!


Well, good for you! The key is patience, and NOT trying to spot
everyone that's listed. Try and limit your choices to flares that will
have a magnitude from about -4 to -8, -9 (the brightest). Going after
the -1's can be difficult as they aren't going to flare that bright, and
the time before they peak is much visibly shorter, which makes them
more difficult to find. Starting at a -4, you should be able to see
the sat. as it transits from below the horizon with the naked eye right
up until the flare, and then continue to see it travel on from there.
And this is even more important if you have light pollution from the
location you are in. It's worth a trip if you can get out of town and
away from city light, you just need to find that spot and put those
coord. into your prediction software.
Well, great luck with it all, let us know when you get to see
your first -7 or -8!!

D.
Oh, one last hint: I've found that if I say, take a months worth of
predictions from Heaven's Above, and then I go back to see what's
coming up after that month has passed, sometimes those predictions
will have changed. It's worth it to go back and update your predictions
during the week that you will be looking as I've seen for whatever
reasons, sat magnitudes can drop or go up over a period of time relative
to when the prediction was first made. And depending where you are,
you may find that there may be a whole month or more that goes by
where there aren't any really bright observations to be made. It just
works out where the Iridiums path reletive to you can shift over time,
and then you find yourself "stuck" in between the best paths for your
location. They will come back, I've noticed now that I've moved further
north, that there are more periods of low observation for maybe up
to two months at a time, whereas there were always something to see
when I was lower down in the Midwest US.
Again, good luck!
 




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