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Dear SGL. Your opinion is required please. We are very lucky and live in Southern Central France with stunning dark skies. When we get time we look up at the wonders of the night sky. Last night we set up our sunbeds and after a bit of bat watching we settled back to a couple of bottles of red and some cheese. We saw a few shooting stars the milky way as bright as ever, 2 iridium flares as predicted by ISS tracker and lots of air traffic. But we saw those strange flashes again! On several occasions in the past my GF has spotted very brief flashing lights, sometimes 2 in the same place. I poo pooed her until I saw them to. Then I was the one who was poo pooed! Sometimes these flashes are in different parts of the sky but we have confirmed today they all lie at around the same angle and mainly in the eastern to southeastern sky. We do not currently have a great view south so have not noticed them there. So a more detailed description of these flashes: They are brief - less than half a sec. Bright - brighter than any star in the vicinity. They do not seem to be associated with and moving object - satellite/plane. They are sporadic - sometimes you will see 2 or 3 in an evening, sometimes 1. Sometimes you will see 2 flashes in exactly the same spot seconds or a few mins apart. From reading the forums here I get the impression we are witnessing Geostationary satellite Flares but I can't be sure? How often do those distant objects use their thrusters? How bright is hydrazine? Should we be able to see them? As all the sightings tend to be in the same area it sort of points to that but I really don't know. Your opinion is greatly appreciated.
Dear Stargazers Community, Due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, my HEQ5 was stuck in a wet/damp garage for a lengthy period. Today I was able to salvage it. Initially I had some issues getting the motors going, but I was able to do it - despite the mount being very wet - with water actually in the power port. After a while it stopped tracking, and emitted a constant whine. I noticed the Syntrek handset was flashing - ALL keys. Nothing I pressed did anything. The LED on the actual mount was consistent. After a series of removing and reinserting the power/handset I was able to get it working again. Shortly after it failed again. This time I could not get it to work. I brought the head inside and dismantled it to see inside. The compartment with the board in looked dry, so I removed the front port panel and checked there. A small amount of water, which I dried. I put the whole thing back together to no effect. I left it for about 5 minutes, then retried and now it works again. I've just left it on and tracking now. Since I don't seem to be able to find anything online about flashing LEDs on the handset, I have not been able to confirm what the problem actually is (although it does sound water damage likely). Anyone familiar with this, heard from someone else, or just any tips about keeping it running? I'm worried it might just give up completely. It is possible to replace the board in this situation, and if so, how much do they cost? Thanks for reading.