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I've spent a lot of my summer nights hoping to spot this (whatever) again to no avail. I've seen ISS and smaller satelites a thousand times since and payed close attention to them all. What I have seen three times appears to be the ISS at about 3-4 times the speed...I'm left with a mystery but I'm almost certain that this was not a conventional aircraft. I purposefully paid close attention to everything in the last few months even zooming in with my telescope on several different aircraft. I have yet to find anything even close to what my wife and I observed. I guess I'll never know but it was kind of fun trying to figure it out.

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I saw this 2 nights ago from my light polluted garden in south east london. It went from nw to se at about 11pm. It was 3 to 4 times faster than the iss but only 1/3 as bright. I saw a small iridium flare at the same time going from east to west and it was much much faster than that. It seemed to fade the closer it got to the horizon but the seeing was bad so im not 100% it was just the earths shadow. It was most definatley in space and not an aircraft. Its not the first time ive seen it either. I just stood there in awe wondering what could be travelling so fast, in orbit?  Anyone know what it is yet?

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Yes! It's an old thread from 2015! Which you've raised from the dead - but that's alright. You might consider starting a new one next time if you want a quicker response though.

But I'll do what I usually do and offer you a very good (FREE) satellite-tracker program to see if what you see up there is a listed satellite. The best one for this is called 'Previsat' and is from France (in English). About 60% of satellites are listed by anyone. The rest of them are CLASSIFIED and we're not supposed to know about them (Queue-up the creepy-music here), let alone see them! So here's a link to Previsat:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/previsat/

Just read the instructions and have fun.

Happy Hunting,

Dave

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Yep, regular satellites fly 300km, 400 km and higher, but some of the spy sats are on very low orbits, barely above the 100km mark, which makes their apparent speed three or four times higher. They are so low they need little engines to reboot their altitude regularly because of atmospheric drag, but from lower orbit you spy better, of course.

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On 26/05/2017 at 14:14, Ben the Ignorant said:

Yep, regular satellites fly 300km, 400 km and higher, but some of the spy sats are on very low orbits, barely above the 100km mark, which makes their apparent speed three or four times higher. They are so low they need little engines to reboot their altitude regularly because of atmospheric drag, but from lower orbit you spy better, of course.

Rocket bodies also fly at low altitudes and can go very fast. One will pass over the UK tonight sometime between 0020 and 0030 appearing fairly low above the northwest horizon heading north(it will be visible for a minute or so).

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On 26/05/2017 at 13:14, Ben the Ignorant said:

Yep, regular satellites fly 300km, 400 km and higher, but some of the spy sats are on very low orbits, barely above the 100km mark, which makes their apparent speed three or four times higher. They are so low they need little engines to reboot their altitude regularly because of atmospheric drag, but from lower orbit you spy better, of course.

The difference in orbital velocity between a sat at 100km and one at 400km is just 175 metres/second.

Orbital velocities at varying heights.
100km = 7846m/s
200km = 7786m/s
300km = 7728m/s
400km = 7671m/s

Formula for Orbital Velocity
orbveloc.jpg.bd84016bbd9084df9c0a8c8e658d0088.jpg
G = gravitational constant = 6.67x10ˉ¹¹
M = mass of the Earth = 5.98x10²⁴
r = radius of the Earth 6378000metres, we add the satellite height, in metres to this.

 

Edited by wxsatuser

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Well!
I think orbital velocities give the game away.

Watch satellites in something like Stellarium, tell me if you see any that are 3 to 4 times faster than any others.

The only way that sats are faster and it's not a lot, are Molinya orbit types, maximum 10km/sec at perigee.

If anyone thinks they are 3 to 4 times faster, it's an illusion.

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BTW

The lowest orbit height of Keyhole sats is around 250km and Soviet Yantars 170km.
Yantars had a mission life of max 130days before the reusable section came back to earth.

If a sat came to 100km it would most likely be doomed in short order.
Meteors start to burnup at this height, not a good area for satellites.

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On 2014-7-12 at 21:37, epaddict said:

I was wondering if anyone else has spotted the object my wife and others have seen recently. What appeared to be ISS (I get the alerts and rarely miss them when they fly over) but I knew it wasn't because there were no scheduled passes for a week in our area. Also...it was fast, I mean at least 4x faster than ISS. My wife and I saw it the first time on the night of the 7th of July and two nights later I saw it again just myself at almot the same time approx. 2200. I noticed it was reported by a man nearby where we Iive, he reported it exactly as we saw it. It has the same range of magnitude as ISS and it's definitely reflective light, it's altitude appeared lower than ISS however...this thing went from horizon to horizon in about a minute! Has anyone else seen this? Do we have some new satellites that can move like this? My wife and I were amazed at this object...it's the first time in about forty years of sky watching that I've seen an anomaly like this. I love tracking satellites but this one really blew my mind.

Sounds interesting..which direction was you looking..what horizon to horizon was it travelling?

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Hey, wxsatuser, I realize my previous post might sound scathing because it's brief, but I really appreciate the enlighting calculations you made, and the rare info you put out. Few people dig a subject that deep.

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I saw this very same object flying west to east two nights ago. I went online to try to learn what it was. The satellite reflected a pale blue light, had somewhat -2.5 mag and crossed the entie sky in approximately 1 minute. I like satellite spotting but I've never seen one moving as fast

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Haven't seen it downunder, but then I haven't seen much of anything this winter!

Anyone know what altitude Google Sat orbits at?

 

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August 3rd 2018 I saw this fast moving satellite above the Netherlands even right above me in Hilversum moving from South to North almost dead on.

I’m used to tracking ISS and watch it fly by but this was different because of the speed, there was no burning or trail behind it.

It was the fastest moving object I have ever seen besides meteorites. My own estimate was about 4 times as fast as ISS with the same brightness.

I do have the feeling that this was closer to earth than ISS, I thought it was slightly bigger than ISS.  Sundown was 2127 en I saw it around 22:40.

I couldn’t find a thing at first but there are more people that have seen it for several years now.

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My name use to be K'lan of house T'gakure, captain of the IKV Death Rite. Wasn't this Klingon ?

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On 13/06/2017 at 04:48, wxsatuser said:

Well!
I think orbital velocities give the game away.

Watch satellites in something like Stellarium, tell me if you see any that are 3 to 4 times faster than any others.

The only way that sats are faster and it's not a lot, are Molinya orbit types, maximum 10km/sec at perigee.

If anyone thinks they are 3 to 4 times faster, it's an illusion.

I don't believe these sightings are an illusion.

My wife and I had a similar experience to the other writers, we saw a very fast moving object travelling from west to east, over south east England.

It appeared to be reflective light, both on approach and as it  travelled away from us, this was around 10.45pm on Monday 22nd July 2019. 

We were astonished at the speed of travel, 3 to 4 times that of the ISS, we wonder what we had seen?

Edited by Genki
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Aha, my wife and I saw this very same thing from our garden in Bucks on Monday night.  I speculated that it might be a very recently launched vehicle on its way up to orbit, as there was no way something at the ISS level would be moving so quickly across the sky.  Did you think it looked slightly bluer white than, say, the ISS?

As it was travelling west to east I did wonder about a supply vessel for the ISS.  Or could it have been Chandrayaan?

Edited by Ludd
To add q
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It sounds like i saw the same object as Genki and Ludd on Monday at around 10:35pm, very similar in appearance to the ISS but much faster.

It passed by Altair, because of its speed i thought maybe it was a plane but there was no sound, no flashing lights, it just looked like a satellite but travelling much faster than any i have seen before.

I think drones can be ruled out due to it being seen over such a wide area. Planes moving that fast would surely make an almighty roar, i didn't hear anything. It looked like reflected light, i agree, not like a light on a plane, and it faded as it moved into the distance.

Probably some kind of satellite/debris and maybe burnt up soon after these sightings? Although the repeated sightings by the starter of this thread might rule this out.

Its been cloudy here lately but i'll keep my eyes out next clear skies and try get some footage if it appears again.

 

 

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At approximately 22:08 today I saw what others are reporting, travelling west to east at roughly 70° elevation over south east England. I commented to my partner how fast it was travelling compared to the satellites we usually see, which she agreed with.

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From our central Netherlands roof terrace we see them in growing numbers. Just this night in about 2 hours we registered 27 of those too high velocity 'satellites' with ordinary binoculars, former week ago record was 7 in 1 night. Not all follow straight paths and some respond to my laser pen light I annoy them with by changing speed or direction or flashing brightly. Due to our urban surroundings without binoculars most of those randomly speeding lights are very hard to track.

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11 hours ago, Prometheusuk said:

At approximately 22:08 today I saw what others are reporting, travelling west to east at roughly 70° elevation over south east England. I commented to my partner how fast it was travelling compared to the satellites we usually see, which she agreed with.

ISS was a few minutes before this but I don't see any other satellites that could be faster after it passed and around that time.

5 hours ago, wkarotten said:

From our central Netherlands roof terrace we see them in growing numbers. Just this night in about 2 hours we registered 27 of those too high velocity 'satellites' with ordinary binoculars, former week ago record was 7 in 1 night. Not all follow straight paths and some respond to my laser pen light I annoy them with by changing speed or direction or flashing brightly. Due to our urban surroundings without binoculars most of those randomly speeding lights are very hard to track.

Satellites do not change direction you are seeing something else.

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Throughout the years, people have seen things they couldn't explain, only to find out the military had something new!??

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