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    Default Viewing Satellites



    I have recently invested in a new telescope. I know that you can track and see satellites (man made) orbiting earth, but I was wondering if you could easily see geostationary satellites (as these would be easier to track), and if so if anybody knows of any software that I could use to track them.
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    JimBa151's Avatar
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    Question

    Noticed you didn't get an answer. I know very little about how you would go about this, but found an interesting website that might get you heading in the right direction:

    Observing Geostationary Satellites

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    Default

    You might see a geostationary satellite if it were right above you, but of course the very name implies that it doesn't move across the sky. It just sits there. You'd only be able to see it, too, when the sun hits it, as it produces no light of its own. Therefore, as the night wears on and the sun goes to the other side of the Earth, the satellite would disappear.
    You'll have more fun going outside about one to two hours after sunset and looking up at the sky for satellites that orbit lower down. They look like slow-moving stars, and they're pretty cool. I usually see two or three every time I look at the sky with my binoculars. Tracking them with a telescope, though, could be tricky because you have such a narrow field of view.
    Learning the sky--one star at a time.
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    Default

    I read the information on that link above and found it interesting. Locating and observing a geostationary sat could be a real challenge, but rewarding in it's own way. A very curious phenomonem to see a spot in the sky, probably low on your horizon, that does move (i.e. not rising or setting) with all the other stars around it. According to the article, most would be at very low magnitude, but could catch sunlight for significant periods of time before passing into shadow, depending on it's altitude. Being fairly new to this hobby, I'm just dreaming here .... but it seems that finding one to look at (watching the stars "fly by" it without moving the tripod) might be as interesting as having found a very difficult DSO.

    Are we talking about the same sats that the TV dishes are pointing at?
    I think I'll get up on my neighbor's roof and try to line my binocs up with his dish

 

 

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