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Saturn Geostationary Satellites April 11

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Saturn Geostationary Satellites April 11

Posted by D Gray at 12:30 on 2012 Apr 12

Geostationary Satellites: last night I was enjoying a rather exquisite view of Saturn in very good conditions when I spotted the first pair enter the field (22:23 UT). I do not use a drive and it is a little spooky seeing these apparently drifting in the opposite direction to Saturn, but in fact remaining in the field when allowing the planet to leave it! Their brightness was judged between that of Titan and Rhea - mags. 9-10.Not really my thing (preferring not to see the 'footprint' of man on the heavens); but for those suitably placed and who are interested, perhaps an easier opportunity to see these satellites on coming nights. Of course after applying a little arithmetic to catch them at the proper time/position from my times of sighting!David Gray. [file name=Titan_GEOSAT.jpg size=52754]/images_old/fbfiles/files/Titan_GEOSAT.jpg[/file]

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Re:Saturn Geostationary Satellites April 11

Posted by Nick James at 23:58 on 2012 Apr 12

David,Interesting observation. These Geos are always a pain for anything around dec -7 to -8. I've done a quick check and there are a number of possible candidate satellites that match your observations (see below). Even though most of these objects are usually quite faint they can be much brighter when near opposition.Nick. Saturn KC2012 04 11.93500 13 41 35.00 -07 33 56.0 10.0 R 995 NORAD designation 29526U; international 2006-051A delta= 39300.2 km; offset= 0.09 degrees; motion 0.248'/sec at PA= 90 NORAD designation 33154U; international 2008-034B delta= 39297.2 km; offset= 0.09 degrees; motion 0.248'/sec at PA= 90 NORAD designation 36592U; international 2010-025A delta= 39284.0 km; offset= 0.08 degrees; motion 0.248'/sec at PA= 90 Saturn KC2012 04 11.94000 13 41 35.00 -07 33 56.0 10.0 R 995 Saturn KC2012 04 11.94500 13 41 35.00 -07 33 56.0 10.0 R 995 Saturn KC2012 04 11.95000 13 41 35.00 -07 33 56.0 10.0 R 995 NORAD designation 25515U; international 1998-063A delta= 39148.6 km; offset= 0.09 degrees; motion 0.248'/sec at PA= 90 Saturn KC2012 04 11.95500 13 41 35.00 -07 33 56.0 10.0 R 995 NORAD designation 15825U; international 1985-048C delta= 39060.9 km; offset= 0.05 degrees; motion 0.249'/sec at PA=105 NORAD designation 25785U; international 1999-033A delta= 39089.6 km; offset= 0.07 degrees; motion 0.248'/sec at PA= 90 NORAD designation 26853U; international 2001-025A delta= 39108.5 km; offset= 0.17 degrees; motion 0.248'/sec at PA= 90

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Re:Saturn Geostationary Satellites April 11

Posted by D Gray at 10:24 on 2012 Apr 13

Many thanks for that Nick,As I say not really my thing but some curiosity nonetheless! I had my first sighting of one of these a couple of decades back whilst viewing FU Orionis and as with the Saturn-field it is a little disconcerting following objects in their diurnal motion and encountering 'stars' going the wrong way! Some years back I spotted a very slow moving 8th mag. object passing near Saturn in a roughly n/s direction. Howard Miles told me that it was likely a Russian telecommunications satellite and probably over Russia at the time!! He informed that they were not geostationary but had a very elliptical orbit -thus spending much of their time far out.David.