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Vega

Really strange satellite(s)

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Did anyone else see a strange satellite pass around 9:30 ish tonight? West to East almost overhead from here in Somerset. It was easily mag -1 but wierd thing was it had two companions either side which very slowly brightened then faded. I thought I also saw a 4th as it reached near the zenith. All going at the same speed like in formation. It must have been low earth orbit as it was easily as fast as the ISS. Can anyone ID this? Could it have been something decaying into re entry? We're there any launches today?

Ps definitely not a plane as it was silent and no flashing lights.

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I saw something similar - I thought it was the ISS and the path of ISS in SkySafari looked plausibly like what I saw, so thought nothing more of it. Extraordinarily bright, though, and by the time I'd swung the scope around manually to see if I could spot it in the finder, it had gone, more quickly than I'd expected the ISS to disappear.

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It was the Dragon X launch on its way to the ISS, photo to follow later :)

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Would the ISS and Dragon X show up as three lights? Maybe the espresso machine separated early?

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Two of the three Swarm satellites mapping the magnetosphere (i hope got that right Kev) travel in pairs might have been them. KevUU was involved with them so he might be able to tell you.

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I also saw it, was very odd looking, I saw quite clearly two lights in the centre, and another two lights that were dimmer flanking either side of it.

Kind of looked like the oddest plane you could see. I thought I was imagining strange shapes out of aeroplanes. Clearly I was not.

So from my point of view would the dragon x show as four distinct lights ? two brighter lights that were angled slightly in the Centre.  With two dimmer lights either side in a perfect Straight line. I am guessing it would

Edited by neil phillips

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I've seen (as has others) groups of satellites in formation cross the sky like that. I'm guessing but most likely be used for studying some form of science or Earth feature they may want to study ?

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I've seen (as has others) groups of satellites in formation cross the sky like that. I'm guessing but most likely be used for studying some form of science or Earth feature they may want to study ?

I have seen configurations numerous times, since 1993 ive seen twos, threes, and even fours. The  Group of three, is most likely the Nos satellite group.

I have seen those a lot over the years.

The group of four, I saw in 95 were particularly odd because they devided at high speed. But I don't want to go any further into a discussion about those because a lot of sniggering will most likely start up. So of course its weird talking about it. No one likes having the Micky taken out of them.  I suppose I could have imagined it. The Division I mean.

But I do not think I did. It perplexes me. But I am really not interested in anyones theories about those.  Wthout being there also. Conjecture is pointless, over the years i have convinced myself it was a illusion or something ? it must have been.

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Ps definitely not a plane as it was silent and no flashing lights.

Not all planes have lights, military aircraft can go around unlit, if they are high enough you could see reflected sunlight on them but not hear the engines.

With the Russians playing up at the moment there seems to be a lot more military aircraft whizzing around.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Could well have been one or other of the NOSS satellites, they wander around in 2 and 3's, not sure about 4's.

They are listed as locating and tracking ships by their radio transmissions.

There are American and Chinese versions, not sure if each has 2/3 variants.

Usually there is a spate of "UFO" reports when they go over, especially the 3's.

Problem these days is that there are getting to be a lot of satellites and more that can be seen easily, and I guess there are others like NOSS that are multiple and possibly tethered.

It is also a bit odd how things get "interpretted", about 6 weeks back there was a report of a sudden comet appearance, with tail. It was a liquid fuel discharge from a satellite or part of one.

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A few of us saw it at just after 21:30 last night, exactly as others have mentioned; bright central light with 2 fainter companions either side.

This was near Helston (Cornwall). Might be interesting to plot its course with times and locations of other sightings. I've never seen the ISS like that before so don't think it was that.

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Not sure on your line of sight guys, but I can assure you here at my location and line of sight.  That central light was CLEARLY resolved as two brighter lights, I could see the space between them, and they was angled or tilted slightly forward. 

There was four lights not three. Ive seen Nos before this looked different in as much as configuration and brightness, and being four.

What ever it was it was interesting. Cant be sure of course but I don't think it was planes. I also can not be sure if it was one object or four separate ones. it looked like four separate satellites

As mentioned who knows what satellites are up there nowdays

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Yeh they are a pain for imagers when they ruin a 10 min sub :/

Glad they knocked back the system Bill Gates wanted to put up, that would have made a real mess of things.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Reading this thread I thought I was back in 1997...

I have never seen NOSS with vastly different brightness(s); the descriptions are more suggestive of aircraft formating with a tanker for refueling?

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This is my image of the Dragon CRS-6 passing Jupiter, you can clearly see the 2 discarded payload door tumbling on either side and if you look closely you'll see the bright streak is 2 dots, one is the Dragon and the other is the second stage.

Mel

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post-4305-0-78441400-1429093230_thumb.jp

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This was Calsky's prediction plus a graphic showing the different elements of the Falcon 9 launch.

Mel

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post-4305-0-78698900-1429093530_thumb.jp

post-4305-0-03121400-1429093548_thumb.jp

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I think it was indeed the Space X Dragon. I followed the launch on the web and via Twitter and was outside to view it as it passed almost overhead to the south. It was at around 20 minutes after launch, so around 21:30 UK time. The design of the craft leads to it looking like four separate, but linked objects.

I have to say it was a fantastic sight, shame I could not get a photo.

Andrew.

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What you saw was definitely the Dragon passing over the UK at that time. Approx 20 mins after launch.

Nice clear skies made for a brilliant view through binos

Al

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Thanks all

After all the posts, I too will settle with the Dragon, it seems to fit the description and would also explain fast speed of the pass due to low earth orbit at the time.

Love this forum! :-)  5-10 years ago, I would have been screaming UFO :laugh:

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I saw it too and it seemed faster than the ISS so thought it couldn't be a satellite. I never even considered the dragon being visible from the UK.

Maybe this will explain a similar object that I saw last year and was just as fast moving. I can't wait for the next launch to make sure!

Michael

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Looks like my description was quite accurate. Ive never had that tested before. Dragon x for me after seeing those pics. And Nos has always looked the same or similar brightness levels to me too.

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