Results 1 to 8 of 8
Like Tree13Likes
  • 3 Post By Catbus
  • 1 Post By Dave In Vermont
  • 2 Post By Voyager3
  • 1 Post By Dave In Vermont
  • 2 Post By astronomynut
  • 3 Post By Samson
  • 1 Post By Catbus

Thread: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

  1. #1
    Catbus's Avatar
    Catbus is offline Main Sequence
    Points: 2,452, Level: 32
    Level completed: 2%, Points required for next Level: 148
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement5 Threads Achievement!20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    151
    Points
    2,452
    Level
    32
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 32x 28 Posts

    Default Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)



    After getting the hang of Heavens Above for iridium flare tracking and spotting the ISS, I found a link to a list of "brighter satellites".
    I found it quite interesting to check the data and brightness of different satellites. Some of them had the distinction "RB or R/B" in their names and I was not sure what that was, until after some looking around I found out that stat abbreviation stands for Rocket Body! Then it all just suddenly dawned on me that there's giant tubes floating around out there, very visible and passing overhead all the time! I never really took much thought into it until now.
    Now, some of these get mighty bright! Tonight for instance a rocket body is predicted to be magnitude +1.1! Very bright!
    Checking the list it seems that there is a huge amount of these rockets and such passing by me tonight (and the past 2 weeks or so I've been using the website), from about 10pm to just before midnight tonight, I count 14 items with "rocket/RB" somewhere in the name, and these are just ones I filtered to be at least magnitude +3 brightness. This does seem like a pretty large number, but I'm not complaining! Perhaps it has something to do with me being relatively close to the North Pole? (A lot of these satellites are passing very close overhead) Also its worth noting that after doing some research, there's very little information on the internet about satellite rocket bodies! You think at least a good handful of people would be pretty interested in this! Either way I'm interested in a fun night of checking out the bright passing spent rocket engines!

    Happy stargazing!
    Last edited by Catbus; 07-16-2014 at 10:48 PM.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Catbus For This Useful Post:

    andro-mike-eda (07-17-2014),Voyager3 (07-21-2014)

  3. #2
    Dave In Vermont's Avatar
    Dave In Vermont is offline Banned
    Points: 2,291, Level: 30
    Level completed: 91%, Points required for next Level: 9
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!Monthly Activity Achievement!
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Burlington, Vermont
    Posts
    525
    Points
    2,291
    Level
    30
    Thanks
    81
    Thanked 120x 118 Posts

    Default Re: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

    I'm glad SOMEONE enjoys space-junk!

    My star-charting software - The SkyX from Software Bisque - has satellite telemetry available on it. Downloads from a government server, and you can specify which satellites you want, and the list includes such animals as the rocket bodies you are thrilled by! And they actually have names for each "family" of these deceased couriers of various payloads. These can be very extensive! And by this I mean [I]dozens [I] of the same group. The latest ones are Chinese in origin. I guess they're playing 'catch-up' with the Russians and the USA.

    Such planetarium software (freeware) as Stellarium (1) have options to show satellite-data on them. And there are programs available to help you find and identify many different satellites up there - including space-junk families. An interesting (to me at least) sub-group of satellites that you might see cannot be identified from any available program, at least available to common folks like us. These are the 'classified' satellites. Ones that the powers-that-be put up there cloaked in secrecy: Military, intelligence agencies, star-wars toys, and other "Black-Ops" missions.

    There are even some small containers in orbit carrying the ashes of various people. I'm not sure who/how these are delivered to their "eternal rest" and all that. One such "Canned-Corpse" is that of Timothy Leary! What a trip, Dude!

    I hope you find lots of goodies up there. I like to try to find out who/what it was that just went blinking through my FOV in my eyepiece. Considering how often this happens to me as I use magnifications that translate to my viewing tiny fractions of the total space above, I am sure you'll find plenty to keep you entertained for keeps!

    Clear & Blinking Skies

    Dave


    1: Stellarium
    Voyager3 likes this.

  4. #3
    Voyager3's Avatar
    Voyager3 is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 14,604, Level: 83
    Level completed: 30%, Points required for next Level: 246
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    Ghost Achievement! Averaging 5+ posts a day!200+ Posts Achievement!400+ Posts AchievementFirst 1000 Experience Points50 Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    2,211
    Points
    14,604
    Level
    83
    Thanks
    1,226
    Thanked 849x 646 Posts

    Default Re: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave In Vermont View Post
    I'm glad SOMEONE enjoys space-junk!...There are even some small containers in orbit carrying the ashes of various people. I'm not sure who/how these are delivered to their "eternal rest" and all that. One such "Canned-Corpse" is that of Timothy Leary! What a trip, Dude!...
    On October 4th 1957 when Sputnik 1 was launched, Life photographer Robert Kelley was in Montreal and took a photograph of the R-7 rocket body as it flew over the city. It's interesting to note that the very first bit of "space junk" was immortalized by Life magazine!

    Sputnik_track.jpg

    Speaking of immortality, Timothy Leary is probably no longer in orbit. All of the commercial capsules containing the ashes of deceased people are destined to re-enter Earth's atmosphere sooner or later, and burn up on re-entry. See the company brochure:

    The Earth Orbit Memorial Spaceflight Service - Launch ashes - Space burial - Space funeral - Unique Post Cremation Options

    The only true space immortal is astronaut/geologist/comet-hunter Eugene Shoemaker of Shoemaker-Levy-9 fame. On July 31, 1999, a capsule of his ashes was carried to the Moon by the Lunar Prospector space probe. The capsule containing his ashes is inscribed with a verse from Romeo & Juliette:

    "And, when he shall die
    Take him and cut him out in little stars
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night
    And pay no worship to the garish sun."

    I suspect there are more than a few of us who get a kick out of old rocket bodies and sundry space junk!
    Here's another link:

    NASA Orbital Debris Program Office
    andro-mike-eda and Samson like this.
    C-800 Edge HD |TV 101| ES ED80 | WO ZS66 SD | Coronado PST | SW 130 Dob | B & L 8080 | ST-80 |
    Nexstar 8SE l EQ-5 l EQ3-2 l EQ-1 l AZ-3 | Vixen Mini-Porta l
    ES 7.6mm & 16mm | Nagler 9mm | Panoptic 24mm | TV 32mm & 40mm Plössl |

    “The history of astronomy is a history of receding horizons.”
    ― Edwin Hubble

  5. #4
    Dave In Vermont's Avatar
    Dave In Vermont is offline Banned
    Points: 2,291, Level: 30
    Level completed: 91%, Points required for next Level: 9
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!Monthly Activity Achievement!
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Burlington, Vermont
    Posts
    525
    Points
    2,291
    Level
    30
    Thanks
    81
    Thanked 120x 118 Posts

    Default Re: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

    Quote Originally Posted by Voyager3 View Post
    .....

    Speaking of immortality, Timothy Leary is probably no longer in orbit. All of the commercial capsules containing the ashes of deceased people are destined to re-enter Earth's atmosphere sooner or later, and burn up on re-entry. See the company brochure:

    The Earth Orbit Memorial Spaceflight Service - Launch ashes - Space burial - Space funeral - Unique Post Cremation Options

    The only true space immortal is astronaut/geologist/comet-hunter Eugene Shoemaker of Shoemaker-Levy-9 fame. On July 31, 1999, a capsule of his ashes was carried to the Moon by the Lunar Prospector space probe. The capsule containing his ashes is inscribed with a verse from Romeo & Juliette:

    "And, when he shall die
    Take him and cut him out in little stars
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night
    And pay no worship to the garish sun."

    I suspect there are more than a few of us who get a kick out of old rocket bodies and sundry space junk!
    Here's another link:

    NASA Orbital Debris Program Office
    I always knew Tim Leary was a burn-out! I'm glad to hear those things don't last. Who wants to see their grandmother's remain go flying over the old homestead three times a night?

    Nice grab on the Sputnik rocket body! And the link to the NASA debris-site. That's a keeper! It used to be you had to get an Air Force security clearance to download ANY satellite telemetry. It was centralized through a site called "Space Track" as I recall. I then had to spoon-feed it into my The Sky Level IV software. Much better off these days. Though right after 9/11 you couldn't even download the telemetry of GPS satellites! The government went stark-raving-knutz with paranoid fantasies of Usama bin Laden shooting down the Disney-Channel satellite with an RPG...

    Glad sanity has been restored...<koff...>

    Clear Skies,

    Dave
    Voyager3 likes this.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Dave In Vermont For This Useful Post:

    Voyager3 (07-17-2014)

  7. #5
    astronomynut's Avatar
    astronomynut is offline HYPER GIANT
    Points: 24,637, Level: 100
    Level completed: 0%, Points required for next Level: 0
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!Blogger Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Twentynine Palms, California USA
    Posts
    2,940
    Points
    24,637
    Level
    100
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 478x 440 Posts
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

    I've seen quite a lot of satellites streak across the FOV. I see at least one each time I observe, and usually I see three to six. I was imaging the Trifid Nebula and got one photo I had to toss, due to satellite streaks, yes, streaks. Here's a much reduced and cut down version of it. I am thinking this might have been a rocket booster with the stage coupler. Caley
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Voyager3 and Dave In Vermont like this.
    Caley Ann
    Explore Scientific ES102ES and TPO RC 8 inch; Celestron AVX and Celestron CGEM DX mounts; Canon 3Ti, and 7D mkII, and ZWO ASI 174MC and 1600MM cooled;
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    Stratus (68*) 21, 17, 13, 8, 5, 3.5MM, Q70 26, 32, 38MM ; Orion 80mm ST and MMAG; ATIK EFW 1.25

  8. The Following User Says Thank You to astronomynut For This Useful Post:

    Voyager3 (07-17-2014)

  9. #6
    Samson's Avatar
    Samson is offline Main Sequence
    Points: 1,047, Level: 18
    Level completed: 47%, Points required for next Level: 53
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!365 Days+ Registered Achievement!
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan
    Posts
    56
    Points
    1,047
    Level
    18
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 19x 15 Posts

    Default Re: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

    Quote Originally Posted by Voyager3 View Post

    The only true space immortal is astronaut/geologist/comet-hunter Eugene Shoemaker of Shoemaker-Levy-9 fame. On July 31, 1999, a capsule of his ashes was carried to the Moon by the Lunar Prospector space probe. The capsule containing his ashes is inscribed with a verse from Romeo & Juliette:

    "And, when he shall die
    Take him and cut him out in little stars
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night
    And pay no worship to the garish sun."

    I suspect there are more than a few of us who get a kick out of old rocket bodies and sundry space junk!
    Here's another link:

    NASA Orbital Debris Program Office
    While Eugene Shoemaker may have been the first immortalized spacebound human, he isn't the only one. An ounce of Clyde Tombaugh's ashes are on the probe New Horizons to commemorate his discovery of Pluto. That not only makes him the human who has traveled the greatest distance, he's also the fastest (28.78 AU from Earth going 14.72 km/s as of July 6, 2014)!

    It's really surprising how much "junk" there is above our heads though.
    Last edited by Samson; 07-17-2014 at 03:54 PM.

    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    15x70 binoculars on a Velbon C500 (tripod)
    Sky-Watcher 8"
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 5 or greater. You currently have 0 signatures.
    EPs: Sky-Watcher 10mm, 25mm Plossl

  10. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Samson For This Useful Post:

    andro-mike-eda (07-17-2014),Voyager3 (07-17-2014)

  11. #7
    Catbus's Avatar
    Catbus is offline Main Sequence
    Points: 2,452, Level: 32
    Level completed: 2%, Points required for next Level: 148
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement5 Threads Achievement!20 Posts Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    151
    Points
    2,452
    Level
    32
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 32x 28 Posts

    Default Re: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

    SO last night I went out and checked out the Atlas Centaur rocket body pass by. Very bright as predicted. Probably the brightest non-ISS satellite at a whopping +1.1
    Also went out and waited for the Russian Briz/Breeze orbital debris (Heavens Above called it a "TANK") which when it did pass, was extremely fast. It seemed faster than the ISS.

    It may have just been me wanting to believe thats what it was, but staring at it I swear it fluctuated in brightness a few times, which I assumed was the big white tube tumbling around, showing more and less surface area to reflect. But there was also apparent scintillation due to poorish seeing.

    Tonight calls for another dozen or so rocket bodies, and the Atlas Centaur rocket body actually does a complete loop pass, appearing at 10, and 11:30ish!
    Voyager3 likes this.

  12. #8
    Smonohan's Avatar
    Smonohan is offline SUPER GIANT
    Points: 4,938, Level: 47
    Level completed: 94%, Points required for next Level: 12
    Overall activity: 0%
    Achievements:
    2 Posts Achievement20 Posts Achievement!5 Threads Achievement!50 Posts Achievement!200+ Posts Achievement!
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Plano, TX
    Posts
    791
    Points
    4,938
    Level
    47
    Thanks
    115
    Thanked 177x 154 Posts

    Default Re: Rocket Bodies! (And other fancy space debris)

    For much of my star mapping, I use Safari Pro 4 on my iPad. It will show the various satellites as they move across the sky. You can to I the object on the iPad and it will identify it in more detail. I love to watch them through binoculars! If skies aren't productive on a given night, I can usually find a satellite or two to catch a glimpse of. It can be a exciting for my kids and me to see.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. Space debris news!
    By driftingswiftly in forum Space Forums
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-07-2012, 09:45 PM
  2. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 10-11-2010, 08:57 AM
  3. Fifth European Conference on Space Debris
    By Bluuuue Rajah in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-26-2009, 07:00 PM
  4. Space Debris Warning!
    By Sunwolf in forum Amateur Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-29-2008, 07:32 AM
  5. space debris or natural meteor?
    By Stew in forum General Astronomy Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-27-2004, 03:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0
Powered by vBulletin®
All times are GMT. The time now is 09:26 AM.