RE: Satellite caught on camera during eclipse (after 3rd contact)

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <>
Date: Thu, 24 Aug 2017 08:54:47 -0400
Greg Williams wrote:

> A friend of mine photographed the eclipse and was about to discard this video when he noticed a satellite passing from what appears to be North to South.
> Here's what he told me:
> I was going to throw this footage out until I caught what I believe to be a Satellite flying by at about 1:56. It comes into frame from the top left center of the
> screen and flies diagonally down to the bottom Right center. Also there are some neat wispy clouds that fly by towards the end as well.
> My Coords are Lat: 35.78964  Lon; -83.9439
> C1 was 13:04:58 C2 14:34:01 C3 14:35:18
> All times Eastern
> Camera info:Canon EOS 5D Mark II
> F11.0 400mm1/60 ISO 400
> If anyone can ID the satellite please let me know.

The approximate time of appulse of the sun was 18:36:54 UTC.

The centre of the solar disk was near RA 10 03.18, DEC +11.9427 (2000.0)

The appulse distance was approximately 1.5 deg from the centre of the solar disk.

The object took about 12.7 s to traverse an angular distance approximately 5.4 times the diameter of the solar disk, or 2.7 deg, which yields an angular velocity of about 0.21 deg/s.

A brute force search using IDSat against a recent USSTRATCOM full catalogue TLE file, augmented by Mike McCants' current classfd.tle file, yielded no matches.

An object in a circular orbit, observed at the approximate position of the one in question, moving at 0.21 deg/s, would have been at an altitude of roughly 1800 km. Objects at that range seldom are visible to the unaided eye in a dark sky, let alone in the bright sky that existed at the time of the video. Therefore, the object almost certainly was not a satellite.

Ted Molczan

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Received on Thu Aug 24 2017 - 07:55:28 UTC

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