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Clear skies in East Devon


Richp
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Just happened to poke my head outside before bed after a day of fairly solid rain to be greeted by amazingly clear skies. After a frantic 10 minutes getting the 130P explorer set up, I've had an amazing round-up of some Messier objects, taking in M13, M31, M32, M57, M71 and M110 in the space of an hour. This has pretty much doubled my previous total of deep sky objects in one night!

And of course, majestic views of the Milky Way right across the sky - fantastic!

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Hi,

I'm from Northern Ireland and I too had a look at the sky, I dont have a clue about astronomy, but the sky was so clear that I stared up at the stars for 2 hours, in that time i seen 4 shooting stars or comets? they lasted less than a second, as fast as they appeared they were gone again are they common?

Also, while looking up there i seen what looked to me like stars just moving slowly across the sky... they also seemed to just suddenly change dirrection and track back on themselves. I thought they might be satellites? I really dont think they were aircraft unless they were CIA spy planes which is unlikely lol

Can you clarify what I was looking at?

Thanks

Kevin :rolleyes:

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sounds to me like you were watching meteors flying across he sky - shooting stars ( comets tend to be slow moving objects relatively, like comet Garradd in the constellation Sagitta tonight ). And satellites look like faint stars tracking quickly across the sky. They sometimes rotate and catch the sun when they move which can make their brightness increase. Two satellites can also look as if they are about to collide, even though they are at different altitudes. This can give the impression that you have seen one change direction - because you have had your eyes on only one of them.

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Yeah, I did see maybe 7 of these satellites, even tracking 2 at a time until i lost track of 1, so maybe they met and i started tracking the 1 I lost and thought it was the same one but just changed direction.

I find It fascinating, do you have any idea where i can find a tool online for tracking satellites?

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@RichP

Am down in Devon on hols and I too saw that sky at around 11! Too much cider to even think about getting the bino's out though.... Typical!

@Snooper - download Stellarium, it's free and is a great little program that will show what you can see in your sky!

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