Re: Solar transit: satellite?

From: Tom Wagner (
Date: Mon Mar 17 2003 - 13:32:55 EST

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    From: Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
    >I received the following account of a solar transit.
    Might it have been a satellite?
    From: "Bjorn Gimle" <>
    > Small balloon ?
    I once was using my Celestron 5 inch to track a hydrogen filled balloon that
    I had released with a note attached. After maybe 15 minutes it was quite
    small in my field of view when, as I guided along, a white disc (actually a
    ball seen in 2D), about three times larger than the balloon "drifted" into
    view. I thought the object was moving when actually I was moving the scope.
    [I suspect we've all experienced that phenomenon before.] It scared me at
    first. Visions of a UFO. :~)  As it turned out, my balloon nearly transited
    Jupiter, and in the daytime as well! What are the odds of that?
    I have seen mylar and rubber balloons drifting off from shopping centers and
    other places where that is likely to happen. Then again, at some weddings
    (and other events) rubber balloons are released enmasse.
    So, as Bjorn said, maybe it was a balloon.
    P.S. I want to add a plug for something that all of us would benefit from if
    given the chance. That is, some IMAX theaters are playing a film called
    "Space Station" some of which are shown in 3D, depending upon the style of
    screen that receives the image. The 3D screen needs to be relatively flat
    and lenticular (silver). I have recently seen it in both 2D on an
    overarching screen and in 3D (yesterday) on a flat screen. It is extremely
    informative and the third dimension adds enormously to the experience. I
    don't know if it was the misalignment of the two movies or my wildly looking
    around trying to see every little detail that made be a bit dizzy. Of well,
    it's all part of the ride!
    I recommend going to and click on "Find A Theater" to
    start looking to see if there is a theater within driving distance of you
    that is it showing the "Space Station" 3D film.
    It would be awesome if they put it out in anaglyph form (requiring red/green
    glasses) so that we can watch it at
    home! I cannot imagine how many stereo pairs could be made from the
    innumerable stereo pairs of images in the two strips of film needed for that
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