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paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

A few evenings ago I was sitting outside with dogs staring at the stars. At around 10:30 PM CST I observed an object that was traveling west to east at a high rate of speed. I'm right at about 35 degrees N lat and 97.3 degrees W long. The object was most nearly directly over head. With obstacles considered I was able to see this thing from an elevation angle of about 80 degrees above the west horizon (almost overhead) and it traveled west where I lost it behind a large cedar at an elevation angle of approx. 45 degrees above the east horizon. It's speed was greater than any satellite or aircraft I have ever seen in my 67 years of watching the night sky. I timed it and it took 3 seconds to cover the approx. 55 degrees of arc in my field of view.

I am of the opinion its illumination was a reflection of the sun. It was not unlike a lot of high aircraft and low satellites that are visible after sunset with an altitude that places them still within view of the sun. As the object approached an elevation angle of 45 degrees above the west horizon it dimmed and disappeared, I'm assuming, as it entered the shadow of the earth.

Given all those factors I have attempted to calculate the object's altitude. From that I should be able to calculate its speed. But I find myself getting lost in the numbers. Is there anybody out there that might simplify the matter for this old fart?

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:31 am
Scott Ellis
(@scott-ellis)
500+ posts Registered

Do you think it might have been the Space Station?

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:36 am
Mark Mayer
(@mark-mayer)
1,000+ posts Registered

Meteorite. It must have been fairly low altitude, as in not in orbit.

EDUCATION, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding.

EXPERIENCE, n. The wisdom that enables us to recognize as an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:45 am
toivo1037
(@toivo1037)
500+ posts Registered

or the Russian satellite Mayak?
http://nypost.com/2017/06/30/russian-satellite-to-be-one-of-the-brightest-objects-in-the-night-sky/

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:45 am
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

Scott Ellis, post: 441226, member: 7154 wrote: Do you think it might have been the Space Station?

The ISS travels a specific orbit path much like a sine wave. I have seen the ISS several times and its speed is much slower than what I observed. Whatever I saw was cutting a rug almost due west to due east.

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:48 am
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

Mark Mayer, post: 441230, member: 424 wrote: Meteorite. It must have been fairly low altitude, as in not in orbit.

Meteors are common this time of year Mark. I'm not going to say they all exhibit the same behavior, but this was slower than a meteor and did not fluoresce or 'burn'. It appeared to be maintaining a speed, altitude and direction.

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:52 am
Scott Ellis
(@scott-ellis)
500+ posts Registered

paden cash, post: 441233, member: 20 wrote: The ISS travels a specific orbit path much like a sine wave. I have seen the ISS several times and its speed is much slower than what I observed. Whatever I saw was cutting a rug almost due west to due east.

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:53 am
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

toivo1037, post: 441231, member: 973 wrote: or the Russian satellite Mayak?
http://nypost.com/2017/06/30/russian-satellite-to-be-one-of-the-brightest-objects-in-the-night-sky/

According to the published Mayak orbit map I probably wouldn't have been able to see it from my point on our orb. If at all it would have been low in the northern sky.

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : August 10, 2017 11:55 am
MathTeacher
(@mathteacher)
500+ posts Registered

Space shuttles took roughly 90 minutes to complete an orbit, traveling at about 18,000 miles per hour. At that rate, a space shuttle would cover 55 degrees in about 825 seconds (55/360*90*60 = 825). That dude was indeed booking it, much faster than this: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/california-meteor-broke-speed-record-for-atmospheric-entry/

That sinusoidal path is tricky; this site describes it: http://howthingsfly.si.edu/ask-an-explainer/why-does-object-low-earth-orbit-project-sinusoidal-wavy-path-over-earths-surface This is similar to the distortions that occur when earthly lines are projected onto state planes or LDPs.

I'm jealous; I wish I had seen it. I saw my first meteor flash when I was 8 or 9 years old and it scared me nearly to death. It flew right over the two-story skyline of my hometown looking just like a round sparkler. There were three or four of us neighborhood guys outside and we all ran in and told our parents. Nobody believed us, but we saw what we saw.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. Albert Einstein

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Posted : August 10, 2017 1:16 pm
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

With some help from an almanac, a legal pad and a calculator I've determined the object I observed was at an altitude (AGL) of somewhere around 3000 miles and traveling at approx. 133,000 miles per hour. If it was of earthly origin I hope someone from Lockheed was involved.

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : August 12, 2017 9:27 am
Dave Lindell
(@dave-lindell)
500+ posts Registered

It was Kent leaping over the fence with his over-powered jet pack.

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Posted : August 12, 2017 12:35 pm
MathTeacher
(@mathteacher)
500+ posts Registered

Would you share your calculations?

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. Albert Einstein

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Posted : August 12, 2017 12:40 pm
paden cash
(@paden-cash)
5,000+ posts Registered

MathTeacher, post: 441732, member: 7674 wrote: Would you share your calculations?

I would, but in review I screwed up big time (not surprising). Let me fiddle with it some more. Stand by...

"...I'm just amazed he even knew Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv existed..."
Paden Cash-disillusioned American voter

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Posted : August 12, 2017 12:56 pm
Artie Kay
(@artie-kay)
100+ posts Registered

You might be able to identify it using the 'heavens above' website + get data on its altitude and speed.

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Posted : August 12, 2017 11:44 pm
FL/GA PLS.
(@flga-pls)
2,500+ posts Registered

It obviously was a renegade meteor in search of Nearly Normal.

"I,d rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead"....Jimmy Buffett
"All I know is, if you look around at the human race you've got to wonder what the hell God was thinking!" ...Lee Marvin, "Paint Your Wagon"

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Posted : August 13, 2017 5:17 am
  
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