A Shooting Satellite?

Jim Faketselis of Huntington, NJ took this short 18 minute movie of the famed Orion Nebula, only to find what looked like a shooting star. But actually, it is the star field that is rotating about as the earth spins, made still by the motor drive the the telescope. What looks like a shooting star here is actually a geosynchronous satellite. These satellites are launched into a very specific orbit that circulates around the earth at the same angular rate that the earth spins to hover stationary with respect to a single point on the ground.


Here is another image of the Orion Nebula moving past four geosynchronous satellites but with the motor drive disengaged.

Original images courtesy of SpaceWeather.com



Filed under Astronomy

2 responses to “A Shooting Satellite?

  1. Anonymous

    I guess the morale is better keep your engine on. Phil

  2. that second image is familiar…

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