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Originally posted by justjoemusic
Just an update, In early October I could go out into the garden and see loads of these in a matter of minutes, Im talking 20+ in under 10 minutes but then we went through a couple of grey cloudy weeks and only recently has the weather been clear at night. I have gone out with my telescope, binoculars and cameras but have not seen one yet so far.
Has anyone else witnessed any in the past 2 weeks? Im just trying to find out if there is a pattern to the sightings or not?
Summer vs Winter Viewing
Depending on your latitude, you may notice large variations in your window of opportunity for satellite viewing. If you live at a high latitude, either in the northern or southern hemisphere, you will find that you can observe satellites long into the night during the summer. This is because your location does not pass as deeply into the earth's shadow as it does during the winter. If you live beyond the Arctic or Antarctic circles where it is daylight 24 hours a day in the summer, you will not be able to see any satellites in that season. In the winter, the situation is reversed. The viewing period tends to be much shorter. At 40 degrees north latitude, you can typically view satellites for only an hour or so in the winter. At lower latitudes there is less seasonal variation in viewing times.
Seeing doesn’t actually take place in the eyes, but in the brain. The brain puts together the nerve impulses from the optic nerve, flipping the image right-side up, and allows us to see. Scientists still do not fully understand how the brain does this.
The autokinetic effect (also referred to as autokinesis) is a phenomenon of human visual perception in which a stationary, small point of light in an otherwise dark or featureless environment appears to move. It was first recorded by a Russian officer keeping watch who observed illusory movement of a star near the horizon. It presumably occurs because motion perception is always relative to some reference point. In darkness or in a featureless environment there is no reference point, so the movement of the single point is undefined. The direction of the movements does not appear to be correlated with the involuntary eye movements, but may be determined by errors between eye position and that specified by efference copy of the movement signals sent to the extraocular muscles.
The amplitude of the movements is also undefined. Individual observers set their own frames of reference to judge amplitude (and possibly direction). Because the phenomenon is labile, it has been used to show the effects of social influence or suggestion on judgements. For example, if an observer who would otherwise say the light is moving one foot overhears another observer say the light is moving one yard then the first observer will report that the light moved one yard.
In the entire hour I would say I raised the glasses to my eye around 20 times. Never spotted another object. Statistically speaking, I found it significant that the VERY first time I looked through them, there was an object. I mean, there it was, before even having to scan side to side. I looked up.....and there it was. What are the odds of looking randomly into the night sky with binoculars, looking at nothing in particular, only to view an object, big and bright the second you bring it to your face? I would say the odds are spectacularly low, given the size of the sky, and the size of an orbiting satellite. Million to one? More?