Re: Help on Geo flashers

From: Bjoern Gimle (
Date: Tue Sep 11 2001 - 00:19:31 EDT

First the terms, as I see them: geoflashers are out-of-control previously
stationary satellites that have started spinning or tumbling. They can flash
"anywhere", but after several independent observations thir pattern can be

The flaring geosats are still stable, and point their solar panels close to
the Sun. This is why their brightness increases when close to Earth shadow.
It is only for a week or so that this is close to the band of OPERATIONAL
geo sats.

So, it is more important to predict the position of the shadow, than an
individual satellite. Look at , which happens to be for 39
S , soon after the beginning of the current season. I will generate one or
more for your latitude later. The shadow also appears to move sideways about
15 degrees during the night. On the image, the stable satellites are
concentrated near declination +6. But there are some operational sats that
do not have 0 degree inclination, so they can flare at other places around
the shadow, and during an extended season.

Photo opportunity? : With a fixed camera, capture several flares around the
"black hole".

-- (office)                         --
-- (home) --
-- COSPAR 5919, MALMA,    59.2576 N, 18.6172 E, 23 m         --
-- COSPAR 5918, HAMMARBY, 59.2985 N, 18.1045 E, 44 m         --

> I have never seen a geo flasher and I don't want to miss the oppurtunity
> coming up near October 6 for me. I live at 39 degree north and from
> know that I need to look near the celestrial equator, but would some one
> give me some good flashers norad numbers so that I can predict their
> position in the star field ? Is Oct 6 the best for me and  how many days
> plus or minus from that time? How far below the horizon should the sun be?

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Sep 20 2001 - 17:55:53 EDT