Geostationary satellites with ordinary lenses

Started Nov 10, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Sinnbilder
Sinnbilder Junior Member • Posts: 42
Geostationary satellites with ordinary lenses

Geostationary satellites do not change its position in the sky, contrary to the International Space Station (ISS), for example, which travels across the sky in rapid movement. On the other hand, the ISS is a bright object easy to observe even with the naked eye. This is not true for the geostationary satellites which are faint celestial objects - to be more precise: they represent extremely faint objects invisible to the naked eye (with rare exceptions though). Note also the difference in height: the ISS orbits around Earth at a height of 320 to 410 kilometers, i.e. within the Earth's upper atmosphere (ionosphere). The geostationary satellites are much higher above the Earth, almost one hundred times higher, i.e. at 36.000 kilometers above the equator.

I planned to photograph this guys in the sky ... with an ordinary camera and with ordinary lenses, i.e. with the Canon EOS 40D and ordinary EF/EF-S lenses, respectively. I in particular planned to benefit from the star trails which should allow easy identification of the geostationary satellites on the photo. This is the reason why: with the camera mounted on a tripod in fixed direction, the stars will generate this well-known star trails in a long exposure photograph. The geostationary satellites, however, will result in no light trails but in distinct spots because of its fixed position in the sky.

And it worked. The first photograph was taken with the EF-S 17-55mm 1:2.8 IS USM at 17mm focal length. The ISO was 800 and the exposure time was 10 minutes, more or less. The inlet picture displays a cluster of satellites which were targeted by another photo using the EF 70-200mm 1:2.8 L IS USM (200mm, ISO 800, 46 seconds exposure time). The third picture is a real surprise to me because the geostationary satellites are visible even with the ultra-wide-angle lens EF-S 10-22mm 1:3.5-4.5 USM.

German readers may aslo refer to:
http://www.fotocommunity.de/pc/pc/mypics/899015/display/26121160

Canon EOS 40D
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