Geostationary Satellites



On 10.11.2005 I photographed with my 10"-Newton, f=1300mm and a Starlight X Press MX7C-Camera M 78 in Orion. Just when I wanted to stop on 1:58 UT a very slow  Object came from the right in the camera field. Because I noticed about one month before the same I stopped the motor of the mount. I then remarked that a geostationary Satellite with a very slow speed moved to the north. I followed it with the scope and I saw that he had a parabolic-like orbit. I took 30s-frames with around 80x amplification. I added every 5. frame and I received the following photo:

Then I followed the satellite for several hours without tracking in general, but up and on I had to track. It moved with rising speed southward. I could not see a lost of speed after 2 hours. I suppose the speed of the satellite in the left of the picture to approximately 1 arcsecond per second. I got this value comparing with Saturn.

Saturn on 13.11.2005, same conditions as above, ring diameter around 45''

Geostationary satellites are in a height of 35800km. Trigonometrically i calculated  a speed of approximately 200m/s, but perspectivical effects are probable so the real speed may be higher. I suppose it is an old COSMOS 2224 Satellite.

On 13.10.2005 I repeated the experiment. On 1:48 UT,  which is 10 min sooner than 3 days before I saw the same! Because I had experience I received the following better picture:

Click here to see a compressed GIF-Animation (700kB)!

A GIF-Animation in Original size (every 5. frame as on the composite above) you can buy on my Foto-CD (German texts).

As a special offer I have the 35MB - Animation with all 160 frames (for Universities,  research institutes, schools... )

- please mail to negociate because of prices -


Martin Wagner,  13.11.2005

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