Re: Camera flash?

From: Greg Williams K4HSM via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Sun, 24 May 2015 20:56:56 -0400
Well part of this "camera flash" mystery is explainable. Slightly off-topic but a good FYI in case any of you see this phenomenon yourselves.

This morning I was at Clingman's Dome and was watching a few birds when I noticed a "camera flash" occur. I got out the binoculars and started looking where I'd last seen it, and thought I was observing a faint bird, but when I put down the binoculars I saw another flash in the same spot. 

I looked through the binoculars again and trained them on the last known location when I finally saw it thru the binoculars. 

At first I thought there was more than one but I think it was just my moving the field of view while looking. 

I timed the flashes to about every 18 seconds, and it was near-stationary. It was due east somewhere in North Carolina.

I deduce that it had to be a high altitude balloon, either a weather/science experiment or even possibly a commercial/military payload in near-space. 

It was drifting NNE and by the time the sun rose it was foggy/cloudy and I never saw it in daylight. 

While up there this morning, I observed the following birds:
CZ-4C RB  36416
Cosmos 1943  19120
Ariane 5RB 27387
Sich 1 rocket - SL 14 R/B 23659
Breeze M R/B 38746
Cosmos 1626 15494
IRS 1D 24971

Iridium 50 flared bright thru cloud cover. 

Greg Williams
k4hsm_at_knology.net
Sent from my Verizon Wireless DROID

Greg Williams K4HSM via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org> wrote:

>I'm certain what I have seen is an artificial satellite reflecting sunlight off of a shiny surface, but rotating fast enough that it flashes for a microsecond. 
>
>I have seen meteors coming "head-on" before, most recently during the Geminids, when one was dead center between Castor and Pollux and it burned bright for about a full second, flaring up then fading quickly. It moved slightly but I could tell it was a meteor. 
>
>These "camera flash" flares (I'm told they're often called "glints") I've jokingly remarked are low budget spy satellites that forgot to turn the flash off...
>
>This discussion makes me feel better that it's not just me who has seen this occur.  I'll continue to look for them (when the weather clears up) and try to document any more instances while looking up. 
>
>Greg Williams
>k4hsm_at_knology.net
>Sent from my Verizon Wireless DROID
>
>Vladislav Gooba via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org> wrote:
>
>>So, Are you sure that it was not a satellites? 
>> 
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Received on Sun May 24 2015 - 19:58:01 UTC

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