Scope of observations

From: Thomas Goodey (
Date: Sun Feb 15 2009 - 22:10:18 UTC

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    On 15 Feb 2009 at 10:51, Aaron Brown wrote:
    > xas/
    As a newbie I have a question for this SeeSat-L list:
    We are in principle dedicated to observation of satellites, and this seems to 
    include observation of outgoing space probes as well. Does our scope extend to 
    observation of incoming satellite debris, as per the above citation? How about 
    launch debris which never has achieved orbit?
    How can such observations be distinguished from meteor observations or even 
    worse? For example, a couple of years ago, in England, I witnessed a 
    spectacular fireball - bright blue head trailing red sparks - which I thought 
    might have been some unusual firework. But I got in touch with an expert who 
    acts as a clearing house for such observations, and he congratulated me on 
    seeing that object, which actually had been about three hundred kilometers away 
    over France and Belgium and had been photographed by several automatic cameras 
    and seen by many observers. Conclusively, it came straight in from deep space, 
    not from orbit.
    We are obviously not a group simply devoted to "observations of strange things 
    in the sky", because I think UFO observations are definitely excluded. So what 
    do we observe?
    My preference would be a limitation to man-made (or presumably man-made) 
    objects in trajectories outside the atmosphere, and their incoming trajectories 
    and debris. Thus excluding bolides and UFOs.
    Thomas Goodey
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