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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 9:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:51 pm
Posts: 2447
Location: Stoke-on-Trent
I had a 30 minute observing this evening, using an 8x56 binocular. I hadn't intentionally set out to do any satellite observing, but I noticed one passing through my field of view while studying the area around M42. A single, steady point of light, with a slight orange colouration, was moving from left to right (east-west) at 20h47mUT +/- 30 seconds - sorry, I can't be any more accurate than that unfortunately. I was only able to follow it for a short distance, approximately 4 degrees of sky, before I lost concentration, moved the binocular and lost track of it. I believe it passed very close (within 15 arcminutes) of Nair al Saif (iota/44 Orionis). So presumably this would be classed as a retrograde orbit, which would be unusual? I had a look on Heavens-Above to see if there was a likely candidate, but couldn't find anything close. I'd be grateful if anyone could shed some light on what I may have seen.

It was quite an interesting session, as a sporadic meteor also flashed through the field of view as I was observing the Cheshire Cat asterism. It's been a long while since I saw a meteor zip through the binocular field of view.

Best wishes, Jeff.

N 52d 58m 01s
W 02d 11m 00s


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 9:25 am
Posts: 5268
Hi Jeff,
I have seen geosynchronous satellites near M42 with binoculars, but these didn't move.
Normally mag 13? but brightened to about mag 7.

Orange, maybe military?, but I am no expert.

I also saw a spectacular fireball with a 18x50 binocular.

Regards,
David


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:51 pm
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Location: Stoke-on-Trent
Many thanks for your reply David. I thought I’d read somewhere that there were some satellites that travelled in retrograde orbits, but that it was a significantly more costly exercise.

I would imagine the fireball looked an impressive sight in the binocular.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:41 pm
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Location: 55° 57'N: 03° 08'W
I get a good fit for 2018 March 10 at 20:47:20 U.T. for the Chinese satellite
Shijian-11-01 2009-61A #36088 orbiting at a height of 684 to 702 km. Its
orbit inclination is 98°.1 so is a sun-synchronous retrograde orbit.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:51 pm
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Location: Stoke-on-Trent
Thank you very much for taking the time to look this up for me, Stella. That’s interesting to know.

Best wishes, Jeff.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:32 am
Posts: 411
Location: New Farnley, Leeds lat 53.8N long 1.6W
Stella is an authoritative source of information. Bob


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