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Object transiting the sun this afternoon - what is it?


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Hi all,

Was taking some white light sunspot snaps with my SCT and DSLR and spotted an object moving fast across it. Had a look at CalSky.com but couldn't find anything obvious (though I'm not sure I'm using the site right).

Anyone got any idea what this might be? Satellite or...other?

Cheers

Jim

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Hard to tell. Most satellites are just an arc-second or two across at most, so almost invisible. Apart from the ISS. It depends on your location. Even in a small country like the UK, parallax means that a satellite's position in the sky will vary depending on where you are. Worth checking calsky.com a bit closer for your location.

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I just played with Satellite Safari with the location just set as London. Nothing in the satellite groups I had selected passed so close to the sun as to be worth tweaking the location.

There might be something in one of the groups I didn't try. It's my bed time now so might play some more tomorrow.

Of course you may have just discovered an Earth crossing asteroid or some such!

How's your calculus?? Why not calculate an orbit from the data you have? :D :D

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I captured a satelite on Friday. It was very faint and went across the disc quite rapidly. It was too small to try and show on a single frame, but I could see it on the avi. Not sure what yours is though.

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OK, I've had another go on calsky.com but still can't find anything - having put in my location details, I've used the Satellites - Sun/Moon Crossers option, searching for anything on 6th July from 4pm for 2 hours. No matches. So now of course I want to disprove all theories other than it being a near-Earth asteroid...:) time to get my A-level maths book out!

(It's probably a balloon. Or a Chinese lantern. Or one of those pesky Martians invading our air space with his new toy.)

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Now having taken a look at some solar images from the last couple of days on this site, it appears I've oriented my sun with west at the top. Which means my object was travelling pretty much east - west....which hopefully, at least, rules out the balloon / chinese lantern idea....maybe I'll send this to the S@N team and see if they can figure it out!

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Jim,

I saw a very similar object tonight, about 17:44, it was smallish, round and moved froim north to south, taking about 10-15 seconds to traverse the full disc. Unfortunately it was between imaging runs and I couldn't get the the file save set up fast enough.

It could have be a weather balloon, satelite or possibly even an asteroid, depending on how far away it was.

Robin

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I have seen a couple of similar objects crossing the solar disk in the last few days. They looked roughly round, though not perfectly so, and took 10 to 15 seconds to cross. I assumed they were weather balloons.

On a separate note, it was lovely watching the swifts flying high silhouetted against the sun yesterday evening. No doubting what they were!

Stu

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It's a bit small to see from the image posted above, I see a lot of small objects crossing the disc, if they are fuzzy and not a hard black sharp object then they are usually flies, pollen or swifts (very high up).

I never find that Calsky or the above mentioned site comes up with satellites, I am interested to know how the poster on Flickr knew which satellite it was?

Alexandra

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An Ariane 40 third stage rocket booster passed the Sun around 1615 ish, going east to west.

These are large beasties, 11metres long and 2.6metres round.

Don't believe it was Cosmos 2407 as that was going the wrong way.

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