For a science guy, that's pretty closed-minded!
I keep my mind open, but not so open my brain falls out. Besides, I'm allowed to say case-closed because I have the equipment to track and verify
everything he claims. I say put up or shut up.
It's strange that you can see atmospheric disturbance in the lunar videos but not in the ones of the "Mystery Machines".
The atmosphere is always a problem no matter the height. His tracking of the moon indicates cheap equipment and an incorrect setup. The moon usually
fills up the entire frame, so it's easier to see the atmosphere disturbances.
there is nothing "patentable" about what he is doing... He says that he just point's ithe scope at a "dim star"
Perhaps he is using the dim stars as reference for video equipment that overlays another image of his choosing. I think there's already a consumer
device on the market that does something like this... certainly not new technology by a long shot.
I am assuming that it must be stationary
Stationary with respect to what? It raises the difficult issue of needing to know where the satellite will be in the future, and not where it was in
the past. Otherwise how do you keep your target in the centre of the frame. When you see 'corrections', you have to ask yourself, how did he know
the exact amount of correction to apply. You only know this, if you know where the target will be in the future. Yes you can extrapolate from the
past, but only if you also have range to target. So unless he's using radar to get this, or is bouncing a laser beam off the target, he's only got
Azimuth and Altitude to work with. Not enough information even for a professional station such as ours.
The space station is only about 400Kms up (250miles), and that's about as low as you'd want to park anything in orbit. Technically that's touching
the atmosphere. Satellites at this altitude (and a bit higher) are easily seen at dawn/dusk with the naked eye, but because of their speed can be
difficult to track. Don't quote me, but I think you can see up to about 2500Kms with naked eye dependng on the satellite. (Do a Google image search
on "ajisai" - get John to track this for comparison and let's see what he gets).
Geostationary satellites are approx. 38000Kms away, they still move, just more slowly in weird pattenrs but generally staying put. It's possible to
video tape them when sun illuminated using very sensitive cameras, but your telescope must be absoluetly rock solid and have a very high pointing
accuracy... better than say, 10 arc seconds (For people that don't understand, lower is better. Most backyard telescopes can probably do anywhere
from 500 down to 30 for a real professional setup). Of course I'm generalizing here.
You look at this stuff, should we see stars behind the "Mystery Machines" as well?
It depends but the short answer is yes. Any camera good enough to detect the surfaces of a satellite that is not sun illuminated (ie. in shadow),
would certainly be good enough to show backgroud stars streaking by depending on the integration time [shutter speed] of the camera. Some times
we've tracked a satellite (with stars streaking by), only to see a second shadow or buddy satellite stalking the main one. Now there's a mystery to
What do you use a guide star for when tracking LEO objects?
You are correct. Guide stars for tracking satellites is not needed and does not make sence. We get prediction files from NORAD (or whatever they want
to call themselves these days)... just like everyone else. They use radar to track millions of objects and give away the unclassified stuff to anyone
that asks nicely for free.
A sodium guide star, is an artifitial star created by us in the sodium layer of the atmosphere about 100Kms up. It's used to help determine the
amount of atmospheric disturbance.