Re: Strange Activity

Message posted by JB737 on September 28, 2007 at 5:01:37 PST:

Without seeing them in person it is hard to say what they were, espeicially as your two sightings were very different in the sense of silent vs noisy. Maybe the noise was coincidentally from something else you didn't see.

I have seen something similar one time, and it was satellites. IF they were just 3 point light sources (bright or dim, equal or not, blinking or not doesn't matter too much) and they moved with a very steady motion relative to the stars, then it is likely they are a set of satellites flying in formation. I have seen those on a few occasions, as either pairs or triangles, and it indeed got my attention in a major way. They might be flying as an array of sensors, or they might be in formation for a while after launch/release until sent into slightly different orbits. Pairs are more common than trios, but I have seen both.

The best way to become familiar with satellites including the odd ones and formations is to do a lot of satellite watching from a very dark location, preferably starting ASAP after it gets dark out or before it gets light out. Note the exact time when they are highest in the sky (nearest to your own coordinates) and then see if online programs can identify it from that.

My favorite equipment for viewing this is Canon 15x45 IS image stabilized binoculars, although any binoculars where the last number is about 35 or higher is fine.

Also, every few hours of viewing the moon through a telescope generally yields a satellite or two passing in front of it, and at moderate power (say 50-100x) you can watch the whole moon and still see some details of the shape of the larger satellites in silhouette. The same is true of viewing the sun, after safety precautions are taken with the correct full-aperture solar filter.



In Reply to: Strange Activity posted by Mark on September 27, 2007 at 20:57:42 PST:


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