DIY astrophotographers track spy satellites

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8 Responses to “DIY astrophotographers track spy satellites”

  1. relawson says:

    “Apparently alone among all of the U.S.’s space spy fleet, the Lacrosse 5 periodically disappears from view for seconds before reappearing. It is the opposite of a flare, in which a satellite reflects a brief glint of sunlight. A much-discussed murky video shows a glowing, distinctly oblong object, said to be Lacrosse 5, quickly dimming before brightening again. The discovery was a sensation in satellite-hunting circles, inspiring some of the conspiratorially minded peepers to wonder if the U.S. could actually hide orbiting equipment from them.”

    Hmm, something in space between the sun and earth, briefly reflects the sun at a certain point, MUST be evidence of a conspiracy! …

    Got my kids a programmable scope for festivus last year, I can’t wait to see the small white dots be bigger white dots! :) 

    • kenmce says:

      Hmm, something in space between the sun and earth, briefly reflects the sun at a certain point, MUST be evidence of a conspiracy! …

      It’s not the angle of the sun.  It appears to have some sort of intermittent stealth technology.  It could be as simple as a large black sheet that is always supposed to face the Earth, but didn’t quite settle in properly.

    •  “I can’t wait to see the small white dots be bigger white dots! :) ”

      Colimate your telescope. Get the $20 tool. do this before every viewing. You’ll understand your telescope better, and have better imagery.

      Oh, and glue a piece of sink pipe to the guts of an old webcam – best astrophotography cam next to a DSLR.

      • relawson says:

        So I checked up on what “collimate” is all about. I’m not sure how much adjusting I can do with the one I have http://www.celestron.com/astronomy/telescopes/celestron-60lcm-computerized-telescope.html and I realize this is pretty much a half step up from a cardboard tube with a piece of glass at either end… 

        I haven’t yet calibrated it to punch in coordinates for other bodies, but we have checked out the moon on a few occasions. I just positioned it manually for that big target. I’m just glad the short people understood why the moon seemed to move away so fast when looking through the eyepiece. Proud parent moment lol.

        It’s funny you bring up the webcam thing because before I even got the scope I was looking at this http://ghonis2.ho8.com/Pro9000mod.html because I have an extra one and wanted to try it out!

        From the solar test http://ghonis2.ho8.com/Pro9000mod5.html it looks like I might actually be able to reproduce some of the discoveries covered in the main post. I just need to figure out the right time to point and shoot ;)

  2. James B says:

    I like http://www.heavens-above.com/ for getting times and dates of satellite flyovers.  They have nifty little printable sky charts that you point north, and hold up at a certain time, to see where a naked-eye visible satellite will be flying over. 

  3. Andrew says:

    Not to nitpick, but I believe you’re referring to the National Reconnaissance Office, although– hypothetically speaking– the initials NRA would sow a great deal of confusion, especially upon the great hordes of unwashed google masses.

  4. bcsizemo says:

    Props to anyone using VirtualDub, a nice piece of software (even if it is long in the tooth at this point).  Now get them working with Avisynth and they could probably automate much of the workflow…

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