Are these NOSS satellites?

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
Bob in Baltimore
Bob in Baltimore Senior Member • Posts: 1,129
Re: Are these NOSS satellites?

starman1969 wrote:

mermaidkiller wrote:

Does this belong to 'astrophotography' ?
Artificial satellites are not astronomical objects but rather sky polluters.

Sounds a bit pedantic. First time I’ve posted on here in ages & this is what I get 🤷‍♀️

Yeah. That happens.

Steve, it's good to see you back again.

Those are interesting shots. I had never heard of the NOSS satellites and their co-orbiting nature. Given their purpose, they make sense.

At NASA we flew what is called the A-Train, a train of Earth environmental satellites all relatively close together (equator crossing times spread out by seconds to minutes). The satellites are OCO-2, GCOM-W1, Aqua, CALIPSO, CloudSat and Aura. By passing over targets close together in time they allow synergistic measurements of Earth weather by widely different sensors.

They are in Sun synchronous orbits with equator crossing times around 1:30 AM & PM. Fortunately they are in high orbits, so they can be seen from moderately high latitudes such as yours. Heavens Above shows nightly passes between 3:30  and 4:30 AM at magnitude 4 or so for the brightest. In my more mid-latitude location they are much dimmer (6th magnitude) and lower in the sky.

I wonder if anybody has captured them. NASA might like an image for their Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).

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Bob in Baltimore

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