View Full Version here: : Unidentified Orbiting Object...?
11-04-2011, 10:26 AM
Finally had a few nice nights here in Brisbane and was out making the most of it last night. My partner and I had quite an interesting experience last night... We had been out for around an hour, it was now 9.55pm, and then went to look at the Jewel Box. The moment the scope slewed there, I noticed a small object tracking across the field of view. I couldn't see it with the naked eye, nor through the finderscope...
Anyway, over the course of around 10 minutes we tracked it from East to West probably around 20 degrees or so (it then went behind some trees). I found a nearby object (from where we lost it) using SkEye on my phone (NGC 2477) and roughly calculated the distance.
We were using a 24mm Pan giving a magnification of 62.5x and a TFOV of 1.088° I counted that it took around 13 seconds to travel the whole way through the FOV.
Anyone with any ideas on what it could have been? I was thinking a really small satellite or debris orbiting Earth, but to be honest have no real idea. We were absolutely blown away that we followed this object across the sky for around 10 minutes and really were just very, very lucky to find it.
11-04-2011, 01:14 PM
I only recently bought my cpc925 celestron and have had satellites cross my fov a surprising number of times since I have had it. Most of them have not been visible to the naked eye.
That would be my bet on what you saw too.
11-04-2011, 03:38 PM
more then likely a satellite or piece of space junk.iv'e had that happen heaps of times they take you quiet by surprise when they pop into the eyepiece!!!
11-04-2011, 05:16 PM
This wasn't at 9.55pm it was 6.59pm but I took a 156.9 sec widefield exposure unguided showing Crux and surroundings and a similar thing appeared in the photo couldn't see it naked eye but it was in the image after. It was very hard to see very faint so I am uploading the original and a negative image that shows it up better.
11-04-2011, 06:37 PM
Very interesting, thanks Warren.
For all that we can see with our own eyes, there is so much out there that obviously orbits Earth that we can't even see. It's almost by chance a lot of the time that we end up finding these things!
12-04-2011, 09:51 AM
Pretty regular sight through the scope. Spotted 5 one night and a meteor shot through as well. Gave me a bit of a start.
21-04-2011, 05:56 PM
Not a night of observing goes by where I don't see at least one and often far more.
A time or two I have seen a quick flash appear as just a dot then fade. This after some thought seems reasonable if I had been looking right at something falling right down my line of sight. Because they generally come in at an angle this would tend to happen not straight up but at some angle that matches the part of it's trajectory where it finally burns up.
I don't think I have ever seen a really big visual one right in the eyepiece coming right at me. I bet they were small bits as there are huge amounts of those all the time I suspect. I am just thankful that if it was big that it had burned up prior to 'denting' my scope. ;)
Oh and all that stuff up there is really 'appreciated' by astro-imagers who have to throw out exposures all the time because of junk and sats.
21-04-2011, 08:40 PM
I was out as well last night I didnt see what you saw but damn what a magic night... for the city (bald hills) it was so clear. Through my little 6" i saw the faint whisps of Eta Carinae and its nebulosity area along with about 15-20 pinpricks of light (im still a little confused on that region.. is eta carinae the star or the neb?) then i moved onto NGC 3114 which is just mindblowing and onto the Southern Pleiades which looks like a mini southern cross.
Also from the 7th till 18th no rain predicted!:D:D:D:D
Woohoo, sounds great Steve. Bring on the clear skies!!!!
There are a couple of threads around on Eta Carinae, but yes, it can be confusing, but the more you view it the more you will recognize and enjoy. I havent seen it for so long, so is my list for my next nights off!!
04-05-2011, 11:39 PM
Had a piece of space stuff cross my field of view a few years back while using my mates 12" newt and I reckon if had been going a bit slower I could have read the name on the side of it.
Never did find out what it was but it filled the eye piece as it went past.
05-05-2011, 01:56 PM
I remember when i was a teenager, my eyes must have been better back then, and i used to lie out on the back lawn/driveway at my parent's house with some tasco binoculars and spot satellites. It wasn't uncommon for me to see 3 or 4 in a night ;)
09-05-2011, 11:14 AM
I see a lot of small satellites while observing moving very fast through the field of view. One evening as I was setting up and aligning I looked through the EP just as the ISS went through the field of view. I thought the alien invasion had started:eyepop:. I had a pretty good idea what I had seen and a quick look on Heavens Above proved it. Most satellites I have spotted take two or three minutes to cross the sky so ten minutes must have been a very long way out.
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