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Hi, I know it may sound too eerie.

But what could be a thing in the direction of Saturn, a point-like thing half the apparent size of Titan, that you would see moving at a steady pace at that far!

I've seen satellites even with a naked eye and they tend to be out of sight fast - but it wasn't like that.

April 11, 2011 Location 14° 50' N / 121° 3' E Time 9:20PM GMT +8hrs

I was observing Saturn with a modest 3.5" refractor f/11 with a 20mm eyepiece. I was at it for two hours when suddenly a point-like object came from behind the Saturn (behind? at least that's what it was seemed to me). And it was moving.

I had to turn my eye away from scope at least thrice just to make sure I was actually seeing the "thing" and not just hallucinating or so. But it was there alright, no doubt about it.

I was able to track it for about 4 minutes until I've lost it among the stars.

I'm sure it wasn't any of those satellites but still not quite sure.

A guy from the US said it might might be a floating rock at such a huge size.

Granted that it was a floating rock and that huge, how could I then e able to see it moving at that far!

Jupiter's moons were a lot closer but you never see them moved by that pace.

Only three things that I could really think of are:

1. It's a satellite. But then apparent size doesn't make sense and it's direction (?) :mad:

2. It's unidentified. :D

3. I was crazy :hello2:- but I did make it a point to turn my eye away thrice to make sure.

Someone says that "The universe is stranger than we could ever imagine."

Well, I guess it is.

It gave me a chill. :rolleyes:

post-23851-133877562662_thumb.jpg

Edited by relativity_principle

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There are thousands of assorted bits of space junk out there ... a slow moving object in the equatorial sky could well be a discarded upper stage from a satellite heading for geosynchronous orbit.

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@ brianb:

Hi,

Yes, I understand.

Another friend suggests that it might be a debris that caught the glare of the sun.

I was just confused whether the orbit was really as far as that of Saturn, because how would one be able to see it moving at that distance.

What seems odd is,

if its just a straight line - then I would really discard it easily,

But it did look that it came from around Saturn and sort of the Planet had sling it onwards. At least, that's what it looked to me.

But then, how one could see it "moving" at that distance? If it was indeed in that vicinity.

It's just probably a junk,as you say, or a capsule debris.

But then, to see it with your own eye - still amazing.

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Why do you think that it was anywhere near Saturn? Your 'scope would be focused at infinity, therefore pretty much anything beyond 100Kms would be in focus*

*A total guesstimate...but pretty much anything outside the atmosphere would be

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I once saw an object pass behind M51 while I was looking though my binocs (at least it looked like it did) it didn't come out from the other side,

I think it may have been a reflection in the binocs as the chances of it being a satellite going into eclipse exactly in front of the GX is astronomical :)

But you never know .. :p

JJ..

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@ zakalwe:

I've given it some thought about what you said.

I am relatively new, but how would one determine if an object is near or far?

The scope I've used was a 3.5 refractor with 1000 mm fl, and a 20mm ep.

Wouldn't an object nearby would drift out of the field view too quick if it's just too near?

The thing I saw was able to stay in my field of view for about 25 seconds if I'm correct - before I moved the scope to track it.

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@ zakalwe:

I've given it some thought about what you said.

I am relatively new, but how would one determine if an object is near or far?

The scope I've used was a 3.5 refractor with 1000 mm fl, and a 20mm ep.

Wouldn't an object nearby would drift out of the field view too quick if it's just too near?

The thing I saw was able to stay in my field of view for about 25 seconds if I'm correct - before I moved the scope to track it.

I'm very much a noob too, so take everything i say with a pinch of salt.:)

Judging distance?. For items up to about 400 lightyears, using parallax measurements can give the difference in angular measurements, then trigonometry can be used to determine distance.

For something moving as fast as your object, then I haven't a clue. Radar?

Without knowing more about the object, you are struggling. We don't know it's apparent diameter (if you knew the apparent diameter, then you could work out distance by the angle it subtends), or its relative speed (knowing the speed it is travelling at and the time taken to cover a known field of view would give it's distance. We don't know it's speed, diameter or distance, which means your are literally in the dark (unless someone cleverer than me (not hard to find, to be fair) can explain).

You could do some detective work....use Stellarium to see what satellites were in that area at that time (could have been a flash of reflected light off a satellite, and the curve could simply be different parts of the body reflecting light at different times).

My guess? A micro-meteorite burning up in the atmosphere. The apparent change in direction could be bits coming off at it breaks up?

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IMO, it is most likely space junk debris or a satellite. I have seen this phenomenon several times - slow moving, relatively faint objects moving through my FOV at various points in the sky. Some have appeared to move in less than straight lines. This I have put down to a tumbling effect of different parts of the object that reflect sunlight at different points, making the object appear to 'step out' from a straight line.

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