Sunday, 30 January 2011

Satellites near the Pleiades

Yesterday evening (Saturday 29 January) some satellites seemed to be in love with the Pleiades. In a somewhat hazy sky, I observed Lacrosse 3 (97-064A) cruising near the Pleiades and Hyades in twilight, and half an hour later watched the NOSS 3-4 duo (07-027 A & C) cruise right through the Pleiades.

Below are the resulting images. The top image of the NOSS duo cruising through the Pleiades (movement is from top to bottom, with 07-027A leading) was made using the Canon EF 100/2.8 Macro USM lens: the images of Lacrosse 3 were made using the EF 50/2.5 Macro lens.

click images to enlarge

The FIA Radar 1 (10-046A) was imaged as well. Unlike a few nights ago, it did not flare.

The previous night had a better quality sky, so I targetted a few geostationary satellites low above the horizon. Classified geostationary targets imaged were PAN (09-047A), Mentor 2 (98-029A), Mentor 4/USA 202 (09-001A) and the Milstar 5 r/b (02-001B). A number of commercial geostationary satellites were captured as well.

Below image, taken with the Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar MC 2.8/180mm, shows PAN with the nearby commercial geostationary Yamal 202 (03-053A).

click image to enlarge

The image below, taken with the EF 2.5/50mm Macro, shows Mentor 2, with the stars of Orion's belt and Orion's nebula M42 at left:

click image to enlarge

I also accidentally captured a mag. +2.5 sporadic meteor in one of the images taken with the Carl Zeiss 180 mm (FOV only 5 x 7 degrees!):

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