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Do satellites get brighter?

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posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 12:00 AM
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Hey I was wondering if satellites will get brighter, or dimmer as you watch them cross the sky?

I was just sitting in my back yard having and a smoke and I looked up to check out the stars, I usually don't bother cause I live in the city and you can't see too many, but I had been camping on the weekend where you could see a ton, and was kinda seeing the difference between here and there. Anyways I was looking up and I see something that looks just like all the other stars, except it's moving, as I watch it it gets brighter, to the point where it was basically the brightest "star" in the sky, it stayed like that for a few seconds and slowly got dimmer. It continued to move and stayed pretty dim then slowly got dimmer till I could no longer see it.

It definitely wasn't a plane as there was no flashing lights and it was way to high up (it looked exactly like the stars except moving and getting brighter/dimmer), could it have been a satellite, or even the ISS? I don't know if that's something that can be seen from where I am, in BC Canada on Vancouver Island.

Oh yea my apologies if this is in the wrong forum, it's my first thread here on ATS.




posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 02:06 AM
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actually satellites can do this. ive seen it before. there are these specific satellites called 'iridium' satellites because of the failed cell phone company they belonged to. theres like 30 of them floating up there dead as a doornail. they have like 30 foot solar panels on them or something like that and sometimes you can see them when they reflect the sun towards you for a few seconds then they disappear. but what you saw wouldnt have to be one of these satellites. its just an example.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 03:07 AM
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Look up 'Iridium Flare'.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 03:24 AM
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You have seen an "Iridium flare"

Check out heavens-above.com and keep track of them!

They come as ordered



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 03:29 AM
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You can actually search for when iridium flares occur.

Here's one website that lets you do this.
www.heavens-above.com...



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 08:19 AM
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Not just Iridium satellites...

The reason you see a satellite is because it is being lit by the Sun. It is logical that at different points as it traverses across the sky above you that you will see more of it lit by the Sun (brighter occassions) and then relatively less of it lit by the Sun (dimmer occassions).

Of course some satellites (such as the Iridiums) are very reflective, so at some point the sun is being reflected at you like a mirror.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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Originally posted by monkeykillingmonkey
Hey I was wondering if satellites will get brighter, or dimmer as you watch them cross the sky?


Yes and more often than many folks realise. These flaring events can be construed as UFOs 'powering up', so any serious sky watcher will be aware of what is and what isn't readily explained. Here's some bits I posted on the other thread regarding ATS investigation of the Gilliland skies.

Heavens Above provides useful predictions for a few dozen brighter satellites only. Apart from the spectactular Irridiums, the ISS, the Genesis duo, etc. the website only gives timings for satellites brighter than magnitude 4.5. It has nothing at all on the thousands of fainter ones. The unassisted human eye can detect objects as faint as magnitude 6.5 under favourable conditions. This is considerably fainter than anything quoted by Heavens Above. I would guess that the skies above the Gilliland ranch are as near perfect as it's possible to get, so the sky will appear alive with satellites at certain times of the night.

Twice daily, NORAD publishes the orbital elements of around 8,000 satellites and space debris, many of which are visible to the naked eye in very dark locations. This enables anyone with a Go-To telescope to track them as they pass overhead. A large number of these bodies are also tumbling out of control, so exhibit flaring in quite unpredicatable patterns. The 'power ups' exhaulted in many of the YouTube videos can be explained in this way, as can the inevitable fade-outs as the objects pass into Earth shadow.

Punch your coordinates into the Heavens-Above site and you can find out when and where to look for the brighter satellites and flares.

WG3



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 12:44 PM
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Thank you all for the info an replys. After looking at heavens above, the only thing i can see that would have been visible at the time and direction I was looking is the Cosmos 2278 Rocket, think that could have lit up like I described?



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 01:50 PM
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maybe, but its magnitude is only 5. thats not to bright. but since i wasnt there i should be one to say for i have no idea how bright what you saw is or was.



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by monkeykillingmonkey
- - - - - could it have been a satellite, or even the ISS? I don't know if that's something that can be seen from where I am, in BC Canada on Vancouver Island.


I'd say it was undoubtedly a satellite. Many behave exactly as you described.

The ISS is easily visible from your location and once seen will not be forgotten. It's the brightest satellite up there and often gets as bright as Venus. Unlike Venus, the ISS rockets across the sky in around five or six minutes when at maximum elevation. Again, the Heavens Above site has all you need to know.

WG3



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 02:18 PM
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The Iridum satellites are alive and well owned by Uncle Sam for his personal use.Satellites do rotate not all but some do and the sun reflects off them to cause the flash.

mikell



posted on Sep, 5 2008 @ 02:41 PM
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When it crossed a star's path, did it interfere with the light from the star.

A true satellite/space station/high altitude plane will cause it to be 'blinked', whereas something a bit higher/different orientation will cause something akin to an oblong pattern.

This is due to atmospheric distortions from the interpreted light. This is how to tell the difference. Through interaction of stellar light. If you notice peaking, or a prism effect, it's more likely something entirely non-conducive with the sky object theory.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:29 AM
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Since you can't see a whole ton of stars from where I am, it didn't really cross paths with any stars, it went between a few, but I don't really recall what happened to them cause i was focusing on the satellite or whatever it was.

Maybe it was the ISS cause it was brighter then all the stars when it reached it's brightest point, but it was only visible for a minute or two.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 02:49 AM
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I saw 3 of these today. I was like WTF a UFO
i began playing mores code with my cell phone to the object in the sky and got a flash back thats never happend before. these things go north and south all the time not just south like a floating satellite. I saw one 2 days ago for the first time and just kept spotting more and more, all this while reading the brother hood of the bell so I got pretty paranoid thinking they where anti gravity ships flying all over the place.
i think there fighter jets or high altitude air crafts. They look like little stars flying tho i got all excited.

[edit on 6-9-2008 by girtacos]



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 02:59 AM
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Is it normal for a satallite to go accross the sky in 1 minute?



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by _Phoenix_
Is it normal for a satallite to go accross the sky in 1 minute?


I guess you mean horizon to horizon, passing your location more or less overhead? If so then no, all satellites in low orbit take around 6 minutes to do that distance. The ISS for example orbits at a height of around 220 miles give or take. At that distance, the relative to ground speed is about 17,000 mph and a complete orbit takes 90 minutes.

The ISS never passes overhead from locations above/below +/-51 degrees latitude. However, there are thousands of other satellites crossing the skies in just about every path possible. The time taken to traverse depends on the height and elevation as you observe it. The lower the faster. A complete overhead horizon/horizon pass in 1 minute isn't possible.

WG3



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 01:32 PM
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reply to post by waveguide3
 


The ones I've seen I estimated at taking less than 2 minutes to cross the sky. Even a commercial airliner takes longer than that it seems, and relatively speaking, they fly fairly low compared to objects in the outer atmosphere or earth orbit.

This is what I wrestled with after viewing these "starlike" objects. I figured; to do that kind of speed, it should have been low, relatively speaking, and I should have heard it. I've seen them on nights where, even at altitude, I could hear commercial airliners way up there. I could not hear them though. As my eyes focus and follow them , every common sense in my body is telling me they are in space. They look just like stars/satellites.....but they are simply shooting across the sky at an amazing speed. A speed, that as you say...is impossible.

I've seen them do much more than act like satellites though. NO way the ones I saw one night in 2006 were satellites. For lack of a better term, it looked like a dogfight. At least 5, to as many as 8 or 9 of them. Believe it or not. They'd go very dim, then flare brighly. The speed and maneuvers were...impossible.

Another thread...""""star-like" objects that move strangely in the sky"""....this subject is discussed. www.abovetopsecret.com...'



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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Just wanted to clarify, what I saw didn't cross the sky/horizon that quick it's just how long it was visible to me. It was still moving when it got too dim to see anymore. I wonder if it would be worthwhile to try and record a video of it on my digi cam if I see something like it again, or would it not show up most likely?



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 05:29 PM
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reply to post by monkeykillingmonkey
 


Hi mate- I gotta say what you described is EXCACTLY what I saw in Ohio, U.S.
The sighting made me think: what is that star that got so bright then faded out? At one point I thought it was going to get brighter and brighter, and it was as if it was heading towards me!
Anyway i'm glad to hear possible explainations because I was scratchig my head at the time.



posted on Sep, 6 2008 @ 07:20 PM
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Originally posted by starcraft
reply to post by waveguide3
 


The ones I've seen I estimated at taking less than 2 minutes to cross the sky. Even a commercial airliner takes longer than that it seems, and relatively speaking, they fly fairly low compared to objects in the outer atmosphere or earth orbit.


Yes that's impossibly fast. Did you time it accurately or is that an estimation? Estimating time is notoriously inaccurate for most people.

EDIT: Sorry I see you said 'estimated'. Try to use a watch next time you get the chance and confirm the details.


For lack of a better term, it looked like a dogfight. At least 5, to as many as 8 or 9 of them. Believe it or not. They'd go very dim, then flare brighly. The speed and maneuvers were...impossible.


I'd love to see something like that. Unfortunately, all I ever see are conventional orbiting satellites - that's when it's clear enough to see the stars, which isn't very often. But winter approaches, so I'll keep an eye out for such phenomena.

WG3

[edit on 6-9-2008 by waveguide3]




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