This blog's readers will be familiar with the Global Positioning System
(GPS). These US navigational satellites provide us with navigational aid, whether you are on a boat, aircraft, in a vehicle, hiking, or just using your cellphone. Our modern world would be nowhere without them.
But have you ever seen a GPS satellite?
click image to enlarge
In the evening of June 25 I by chance captured
one of the 41 operational
a GPS satellite that was decommisioned last
year on photograph: Navstar 39
(USA 128, GPS 2A-27, 1996-056A). It showed up as a very bright small trail and was flashing at a rate of 2-3 flashes per 10 seconds. Above is a compilation of the photographs taken (Canon EOS 60D with Samyang 1.4/85mm lens).
GPS satellites do not usually get this bright: the satellite was evidently flaring due to a favourable sun-satellite-observer line-up. As this is a decommisioned satellite, the flashing could be due (I am not sure) to the satellite having lost attitude control and being spinning.
Labels: flashing, GPS, Navstar, Navstar 39, USA 128