Re: Request for help in identiying satellite

From: George Roberts (
Date: Tue May 02 2006 - 12:17:15 EDT

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    It was almost certainly a balloon.  We get alot of these sightings - don't feel bad.  It's always amazing that the object can be 
    travelling up down left or right (apparent direction -- not actual) by following different wind directions.
    > object was about 10 arc seconds across.  Certainly not more than 20"
    A 1 foot diameter balloon at 10 arc seconds would be 3.9 miles away.  At 20 arc seconds, then half the distance.  This is very 
    reasonable and likely.
    > Duration of transit:    Approximately 3 or 4 seconds, during which the
    This is too slow for low orbit satellites.  And 10 arc seconds is too big for higher orbits unless there is a new 100 foot satellite 
    up there that noone has noticed yet.
    > first, but it occurs to me that it may well have been in the Earth's shadow at the time.
    Yes - that is definitely true.  The earth's shadow for far away objects would be near the moon only if the moon were close to full. 
    To be in line with the *crescent* moon implies that the object wouldn't be in shadow if it was a high orbit satellite.
    - George Roberts 
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