I recorded this video on 7-11-10 starting at 3:07 AM EDT and lasting for about 10 minutes. The video is sped up to fit it all in within about a half
minute and after the video "accelerates" (I adjusted the shutter speed of the camera) each frame is 2 seconds long in reality. I was tracking the
old Soviet satellite Molniya 2-14 when something streaked right by it in the frame perpendicular to its direction of travel. The telescope I was
using was an 8" LX200 Schmidt-Cassegrain and the camera was a modified Samsung SDC-435. I was also using a .3 focal reducer for an f/ratio of about
Given the time of night it could not have been a low earth orbit satellite traveling well underneath Molniya; there would have been no illumination
from the sun at that altitude and in fact Molniya went into the earth's shadow minutes later as it descended to perihelion in its highly elliptical
orbit. At the time this video was recorded Molniya's altitude was about 7000km. The fact that it moved that quickly also pretty much rules out
geosynchronous satellites, but I have yet to check it against the paths of the rest of the high altitude satellites from that night.
It could be just another ordinary satellite that just happened to appear like it was passing right by Molniya but was really at a different altitude,
but considering how small the field of view is (just about a dozen arcminutes wide) such a thing would be very rare. The second possibility is that
it was a true near miss in space between two satellites. Either one can pretty much be confirmed or ruled out by looking at all the satellites'
orbital data from that night, which I do have, but analyzing it will take some time. I thought I would get this out there in the meantime and let
people suggest other possible explanations.
Ok, I just checked on what was visible at the time that video was filmed on Sunday morning. There wasn't supposed to be anything there except
Molniya 2-14. The closest satellite lags behind it in the sky by at least a full degree at all times and this view is only a tiny fraction of a
degree wide. That leaves two possibilities; classified and not-from-around-here. If anyone wants the orbital data for all the satellites from that
night I have it available if you want to double-check me.
I also plan to do some analysis on this object's trajectory, but just looking at it quickly it would seem as if it was moving much faster than
Molniya, which itself was traveling at about 6km/sec.
Originally posted by icepack
i see alot of objects flying by, direction is from upper left to lower right.
do you mean that one object that is flying from lower left to upper right ?
Upper right to lower left but yeah that's the one. I should have described it in more detail for those unfamiliar with satellite tracking; all those
other "objects" are stars streaking by as the telescope tracks the satellite which is the dot. The unidentified object is the streak that moves
from the upper right to lower left late in the video.
Originally posted by Frakkerface
couldnt it just be a small rock burning up in the atmosphere?
Why put that god awful music to the video by the way?
Why would a meteor appear in 2 consecutive 2 second exposures in a field of view only about a dozen arcminutes wide? It would have to just happen to
be timed perfectly to be split across two images. You're talking about a millisecond window in a two second span of time. A one in two thousand
chance at best. And it's a dim one too. Maybe you're right though. As unlikely as it is, it's still probably more likely than aliens.
I will be keen to see this expert discussion develop.
Thanks! I'm still not 100% what it is, but I'm going to take a close look at the original video frames before I compressed them with divx. My
original guess that it was just another satellite is the only thing I can definitively rule out at the moment. The meteor possibility is probably the
most likely, but because it does appear in two frames instead of just one it's quite a rare case. Of course, just because something is rare does not
mean it's not true, but I think if that's the final answer it at least deserves a little more support. Otherwise, someone who is highly inclined to
believe it's ET would simply dismiss that explanation on the grounds that such a thing is unlikely whereas they think space aliens are likely.
I was looking at the video again last night though when I noticed something I didn't notice the first time; there's two lines there in the first
frame, not one, and I *think* they're converging. I think it could be the wake of the meteor actually being resolved by the telescope, but I need to
clean the frame up and try to bring it out. There are some techniques I'm going to apply to it later to try to do that in an unbiased way. If I can
pull out some indication that indeed it's an entry wake with a meteor at the tip then not only will it put it to rest, but it'll be a cool
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